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The Dangers of Hacking and What Hackers Do to Your Business

Keeping information systems secure is becoming more challenging for today’s organizations. As companies become increasingly reliant on technology to improve business operations, it also increases the likelihood of data breaches for those companies.

So far in 2020, cyber attacks on companies have grown exponentially. According to cybersecurity analysts, phishing attacks have already increased by 350% at the end of March 2020. Hackers will use any means available to gain access to your information systems and exploit data breaches for financial gain.

How do Businesses Get Hacked?

Any successful cyber attack starts with finding a vulnerability in your company’s computer network, communications, or technologies. A hacker attacks sensitive records by being versed in the latest tools, technologies, and user behaviors that make systems vulnerable.

The most common cyber-attack types are:

  • Search & Exploitation of known flaws in software systems or system configurations.
  • Purchasing of stolen usernames and passwords from another party.
  • Deploying sophisticated phishing scams that impersonate valid entities.
  • Spreading malware around the internet using sophisticated & targeted methods.

Of these methods, phishing remains the most successful attack type. Emails can come in pretending to represent internal resources, outside regulatory bodies, government entities, or health organizations. They put all businesses at risk by exposing the company network and causing data breaches.

One of the main dangers of hacking is that bad actors will use a small amount of accurate information in an email to create a phishing campaign that tricks a single user into accessing a compromised resource.

What Hackers Can Do to Your Business

After attackers have gained access to your system, these cybercriminals can deploy any number of additional tactics to affect the business. The exact type of damage will depend on the end goal of the cyber-attacks. Most hackers use organizations for financial gain, making every business a target in today’s connected world. Once a hacker finds a way into a company’s network, it could lead to:

  • Stolen digital data about the organization or its customers with the intent to sell (think personal information, credit card numbers, or information on user accounts).
  • Harvested information from the company’s computers to commit fraud.
  • Disclosing confidential information to embarrass the company and damage its reputation.
  • Encrypting company information that hackers hold hostage for a ransom fee (e.g., ransomware).

The list above indicates the immediate challenges a company will face if an attempted breach succeeds. Considering the liabilities and damage to the reputation that can be caused by cyberattacks, it’s important to take every precaution to protect your company’s information systems and account data.

How to Respond to a Successful Hack

If you experience a breach, you’ll need to take action immediately. The longer you wait to respond, the worse the situation could get and the more damage you’ll suffer. Your IT department or managed services provider can set up alerts within your infrastructure so that the appropriate people are immediately notified of something suspicious or a breach. One of the best tools to handle the breach effectively is by using a network and device monitoring policy. This part of early detection is the key to eradicating the cyberattack.

Once you detect a breach, you’ll need to:

  • Determine the point of entry and immediately begin to contain the damage.
  • Eliminate the spread of the threat by disconnecting or shutting down any vulnerable systems.
  • Implement contingency plans.
  • Alert appropriate employees within your organization that need to be notified of the attack.
  • Notify your service providers and third-party vendors of the cyber attack.
  • Inform customers and any applicable regulatory bodies within the required timelines.
  • Be open and transparent about how it occurred and what controls you had in place.
  • Update all security systems and tools before you start the data breach recovery.
  • Adjust policies and documents to adapt and grow from the latest attack.

Security Tips to Help Prevent a Cyber Attack

Keeping hackers out of your company’s systems and networks requires a proactive approach.

  1. You’ll need to ensure your users have strong passwords that expire regularly and your company policy requires all user accounts to have strict password requirements.
  2. Businesses must look within the infrastructure to update all applications, antivirus, and firewalls regularly.
  3. Keeping employees informed about the latest threats can help prevent an erroneous click leading to a hacked system.
  4. Managing and maintaining effective security policies on technology components will help to ensure measures are in place company-wide.
  5. Prepare for the worst-case scenario with a disaster recovery schedule and back up plan of important information and data.

For the best results, you’ll want a team of experts available to help you protect your networks and devices. A managed services provider can help guide your business through the development of prevention and recovery plans. With an MSP, they are able to quickly react to cyber-attacks with their dedicated staff and can help you plan, protect, and rebuild.

Think Your Business May Be Affected by a Data Breach?

Protecting information systems requires a team of dedicated professionals. Advanticom can ensure you implement the necessary controls, management, and practices that keep your data secure. With our managed security services, your team can operate remotely and have access to dedicated support from any work environment.

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