Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Since 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) has been observed each October, and this year is no different. Every October, efforts are made by the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to bring light to all of the cyber threats that pose great danger to the international community. To ensure that Americans are well-educated and practicing safer and more secure online activities, the NCSD and NCSA reach out to the community and provide important tips and information.

As a reputable Managed Service Provider, Online Computers wishes to share the responsibility and help all users stay safe online. We know that there are some people who truly believe that they will never be affected by the many dangers that lurk in the world wide web. These men and women are, for lack of a better work, naïve for thinking this way. Cyberspace cannot be secure without the help and the efforts of each and every user. If you are one of those people are stuck in the “it will never happen to me” mindset, maybe we can scare some sense into you.

Check out some of these horrifying statistics on cybercrime:

Over 90% of malware is delivered via email.

Every day, an estimated 350,000 new malware are being released into the world of technology. For those of you who don’t know, malware is basically any kind of software that is created to intentionally destroy, disable, or damage one’s computer system. Malware likes to disguise itself as something harmless, however, when it’s activated, it will damage a computer, steal important files, passwords, etc.

How is it introduced you ask? The most effective way that cyber criminals are getting their malware through the front door is by email. Malware and dangerous files are often hidden within an email attachment.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, well I just won’t open files from unknown senders…”

That’s great! You should never open emails or attachments from an unfamiliar address. But that doesn’t make you completely out of harm’s way. Criminals have found new way of bypassing security systems and effectively delivering vicious software via file-less emails.

Most businesses won’t detect a breach on their network for over 200 days.

Back in early 2018, it took U.S. companies an average of 206 days to detect a data breach in their network… That’s over 6 months! It is suggested that organizations aim to identify security threats and breaches within 100 days, but that is still 100 days too late!

Even if you are able to identify the breach within the suggested time frame, it’s still most likely going to cost you and your company an arm and leg. Studies show that containing a breach in under 30 days cost businesses roughly $6 million dollars. Can you imagine how much money and confidential information you would lose if you let a threat go unknown for an even longer period of time?

60-80% of attacks are aimed towards SMB’s.

Just because you’re a small business owner doesn’t mean that you’re safe from a cyber-attack. Most attacks are specifically aimed towards small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s). This may surprise you, but the fact is that SMB’s are easier targets than larger companies.

A larger organization most likely has better, more advanced network security as opposed to a business with less than 100 employees. And most of these SMB’s assume that just because they're small, they have nothing to lose and are therefore safe from malicious attacks. WRONG. They have just as much to lose, and it is this mindset that allows criminals to slip through the cracks.

Because SMB’s are an easier target, it’s crucial that they make significant room in their budgets to account for effective cyber security. By outsourcing your IT infrastructure to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Online Computers, you will have access to the hardware, software, and cybersecurity expertise to protect your network at all times.

Over 50% of data breaches are caused by employees.

Threats aren’t always caused by professional cyber criminals. Often times, it’s a business’s very own employee. Whether it’s a rogue employee seeking revenge or your secretary neglectfully clicking on a suspicious email or website, the biggest threats lay within your company.

The most dangerous aspect of this sort of insider threat is all access and activities are coming from a trusted system. This ultimately means that there is a high chance of these threats flying under the radar and it could become an absolute catastrophe.

To help ensure you’re protected, get to know your employees and provide them with ongoing education on technology. It is essential that are you are constantly educating the users who hold the potential for some of the greatest damage in the palm of their hands. Technology is always changing therefore all users should be kept up to date on how to safely use it.

Also, don’t forget the very basics such as applying software patches, updates and enforcing strong standards for login credentials. You can implement password expiration dates so that after a certain period of time, a user will have to change their password.

Another popular security system is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA). Many companies and platforms are beginning to use MFA because it creates an extra layer of defense and makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a target. For example, if you log into a website, you may be requested to enter a one-time passcode which the website’s authentication server sends to your phone via text message. So even if an unauthorized user had your password, they can’t get into your profile if they don’t have access to your phone.

It’s no coincidence that National Cyber Security Awareness Months is the month in which Halloween is observed. Just like ghosts and goblins, it’s scary stuff, and these facts were only a small example of how dangerous and frightening cybercrime is. There are countless more critical IT security threats that continue to become more advanced and dangerous. Billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, once said, “Cyber-attacks is the biggest threat to mankind- even more of a bigger threat than nuclear weapons.”

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we are hosting a free, live webinar on October 24th. We encourage you to join us and become more educated on the numerous threats that are putting you and your business at risk. All attendees will receive a free dark web scan.

Cybercrime isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon, so it’s extremely important that you observe NCSAM and take the necessary steps to protect you and your network. Online Computers has the knowledge, experience and tools to help you get protected. Contact our experts today, and we will be more than happy to help!

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