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The Growing Cyber Security Threat

The Growing Cyber Security Threat

How serious of a problem is cybercrime? A study by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts these crimes will cost the world $6 trillion a year by 2021. This is a big number, but it’s no surprise to anyone who has followed the exploits of hackers and online scammers.

Cybercrimes have become big news, with large data and security breaches at companies generating headlines, and cyberthreats from foreign locales such as China and Russia threatening U.S. businesses and elections.

The increasing amount of large-scale, well-publicized breaches suggests that not only are the number of security breaches going up — they’re increasing in severity, as well. Data breaches expose sensitive information that often leave exposed users at risk for identity theft, ruin companies’ reputations and almost always leave the company liable for compliance violations.

Security breaches have increased by 11% since 2018, and the average lifecycle of a breach in 2019 was 314 days (from the breach to containment). That’s a lot of time for data to be stolen, corrupted, or held for ransom.

Even enterprise companies and multinational corporations are discovering that their current IT security is not sufficient to fend off an ever-evolving list of cyber threats. This is perhaps most evident in the recent high-profile data breaches that have made headlines. A network breach can result in catastrophic losses of data and high costs for recovery and damage control. A breach can ruin a company’s reputation, making it harder for them to do business in the future. Security breaches at large companies are a matter of national security, as they have damaged our infrastructure and threatened our financial markets.

It’s tempting for small-to-medium sized businesses to assume that they won’t be a target of threats such as ransomware, malware, and phishing because of their size. The reality is that hackers target thousands of businesses simultaneously — size is not really a factor. If you have a connection to the internet, you’re a target.

Dependence upon cloud computing and an increasingly remote, mobile workforce means threats that compromise one system can compromise a larger network relatively easily. All it takes is a single security gap. To combat these threats, businesses are naturally turning to their own IT departments to shore up their networks, implement disaster recovery plans, and coach their fellow employees on data security.

Unfortunately, skill shortages and budget constraints have made security a significant challenge even at the largest, most well-funded companies.

To augment their own IT departments, manage costs, and gain access to additional IT resources, businesses of all sizes have relied on managed service providers (MSPs).

What is the difference between a Managed Service Provider and a Managed Security Service Provider?

It’s important to understand the difference between a managed service provider (MSP) and an MSSP. An MSP is a third-party organization that is contracted to perform ongoing IT services, essentially an outsourced IT department for businesses or organizations who do not want it all managed in-house.

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is similar to a managed service provider, but with more cybersecurity capabilities such as virus and spam blocking, next-generation firewalls, breach detection, and end user security training. An MSP can function as an MSSP as long as they offer that level of specialization and select services, which mPowered IT is.

Both MSPs and MSSPs are designed to help organizations tackle complex IT problems without taking on the burden alone. Each tends to operate on a strategic level, offering valuable solutions and insights throughout all stages of the business’ life cycle.

Why do Businesses turn to MSSPs?

Skilled IT Professionals are in Short Supply

There simply aren’t enough trained and experienced cybersecurity specialists to handle the needs of the modern threat landscape. Unfortunately, hackers and other bad actors can function alone or in small cells, but cybersecurity is typically a team effort that requires constant attention from skilled individuals.

IT Departments are Often Spread too Thin

When a business’ internal IT department becomes overwhelmed, they will often turn to MSPs or MSSPs to fill in gaps. This is generally a much faster way to find and deploy a knowledgeable team without spending months hiring and training new staff.

Even Small Businesses need to be Secure

Small businesses are being targeted more frequently as larger enterprises shore up their own security. Hackers usually look for the weakest points, and that is usually the small business who isn’t taking cybersecurity seriously, not the massive corporation with a huge IT budget.

Cyberthreats are Constantly Evolving

One of the most challenging aspects of IT is that it is constantly evolving — and that goes double for the cybersecurity landscape. IT professionals and cybersecurity specialists must maintain a constant state of continuing education to keep up with the changes in their industries. This isn’t the kind of thing that business owners or C-level executives have time to do on their own. By working with an MSSP, a business can be sure that their defenses are evolving to meet the changing needs of the times.

What Services does an MSSP Provide?

The typical MSSP works as an extension of your business through consulting, planning, and project-based action or ongoing management. Cybersecurity must work in layers, and that means every business needs a tailored suite of solutions working together to completely protect their network and data.

Here are some of the Essential Services Offered by MSSPs:

  • Offsite Backups and Recovery Plans
  • Employee Awareness Training
  • Next-Generation Firewall Protection
  • Encryption Services
  • Password Regulations
  • Security Assessments
  • Email & Web Filtering
  • 24/7 Network Monitoring
  • Offsite Backups and Recovery Plans
  • Antivirus Services
  • Breach Prevention Services
  • Automated Updates
  • Dark Web Scanning
  • Multi-Factor Authentication

End User Awareness Training

In most of the recent high-profile security breach cases, the cause was employee negligence — usually initiated by a phishing email or SMS text message. Humans are almost always the weakest link in a security chain, which means the weakness must be addressed through training in threat awareness and avoidance.

According to a study reported by Tech Republic, 54% of the 1,000 IT professionals surveyed said poor password policies and the careless actions of employees were the root causes of cybersecurity incidents at their companies. More than 50% of the companies surveyed had experienced a ransomware attack in the past year, and 79% of those affected said the ransomware entered their system through a social engineering attack (such as phishing).

What are the other common culprits? Poor password maintenance, a lack of two-factor authentication, or having no password regulations in place at all.

While it’s important to strengthen your network, the human factor must be addressed for your security effort to be successful. MSSPs can be contracted to create a culture of security at your company. They’ll coach your employees to recognize common security threats like phishing emails and malicious links. They can even help you establish a password policy so that passwords are updated regularly and stronger company-wide.

24-7 Network Monitoring

Most organizations can’t afford a staff of in-house IT professionals to manage their network around the clock. Network Operations Center (NOC) monitoring is an important service provided by MSPs, typically to monitor for network outages, server overloads, and other errors by scanning critical network functions. MSSPs provide 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) monitoring to identify security issues, manage firewalls, scan for vulnerabilities, and provide intrusion protection and prevention.

MSSPs can monitor networks continuously via their own SOC or through specialized third-party providers. In the event of an issue or security threat, engineers at the MSSP are notified and act quickly to resolve problems. This type of active monitoring is the surest way to ensure data security and minimize downtime.

Emergency Backup and Recovery

Data backup is common at most companies and often required when regulatory compliance is a factor.

Offsite data protection ensures your data is secure and ready to be recovered in the event a system crash or internal error. It also ensures your data is protected in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster. Secure, reliable backups can also serve as a means to access and recover data in the event of a ransomware attack.

Antivirus Services

To combat growing security threats, modern organizations need a layered approach to security. This includes enterprise level antivirus software as well as anti-malware, Next-Generation Firewall Protection, intrusion detection and prevention, and well-trained employees. An MSSP provides all of these security layers as part of a package to your organization.

Don’t make the mistake of relying on consumer-grade antivirus software in a business environment. While many commercial antivirus solutions are fine for personal use, they do not offer all of the solutions needed when protecting a business. You should be able to manage and monitor all your devices from a single platform. Your antivirus software should receive automated updates and provide advanced protection beyond what is needed for personal use.

Email & Web Filtering

Email filtering helps to identify spam and phishing emails and delete or quarantine them before they can do harm. Most modern email platforms, such as Gmail or Office 365, have a built-in spam filter, but hackers have become very good at bypassing these filters. Since some spam will always make into your employees’ inboxes, scam or fraudulent emails will always be a threat to your business.

An MSSP can provide you with advanced layers of email filtering services along with training to help you identify harmful emails before they’re opened and clicked. The security tools provided by an MSSP can also help you filter out malicious websites when your employees are browsing online. To increase employee productivity, you can also use web filtering to block specific types of content such as online shopping sites, social media sites, and gaming sites.

Breach Prevention

A breach occurs when data is compromised and finds it way into the wrong hands. This can happen through network intrusion, through a malicious email link, or if someone downloads your data to physical storage and then uploads it to the dark web (like from a stolen device).

With so many ways for breaches to occur, cyber defense must move beyond the IT department and into your organization as a whole by fostering a culture of security. In addition to monitoring for attacks and unusual behavior, an MSSP can help you create this culture at your company through training, monitoring, and technical expertise. They’ll help you get control over who is accessing your data so you can stay proactive and prevent dangerous activity before it occurs.

Automated Updates

Updates to your applications, software, and operating systems aren’t just to improve functionality. Many updates are sent to protect the software or device against a new type of threat or to patch vulnerabilities that have been recently discovered. These updates don’t always download and apply themselves automatically. They must be authorized by a user, or by an administrator. Too often, important updates are neglected because internal IT staff are overstretched or unsure of what an update will do to the system. Neglected updates quite frequently leave your system vulnerable.

An MSSP ensures that you’ll never have to worry about missing updates and making yourself vulnerable to avoidable threats. Part of their job is to find outdated software and provide automated updates and patching services so you’ll never need to go through your systems and apply updates manually.

Password Standards

As we mentioned, humans are usually the weakest link in a security chain. One way that is true is that people are often careless with creating and maintaining their passwords. When employees are responsible for creating and maintaining their own passwords, you can expect vulnerabilities. Employees will often use the same password for all their accounts, use passwords for years at a time, or they may use a very weak password like “12345,” “password,” or their name and birthdate.

Passwords like these are easy for password cracking programs to decipher. If the same password is used for multiple logins, it could give hackers access to your entire system as well as any software you use. Part of the issue is that too much of the burden is placed on individual employees, many of whom simply want to log in and get to work without having to deal with complicated passwords.

Without any guidance, they’re likely to pick a password that’s easy to remember and stick with it. An MSSP can help your company develop a strong password policy and implement password standards for all your employees. Password regulations, or password policies, govern how your employees create, manage, and use passwords. You may also benefit from using a password manager to help your employees keep track of their passwords. This may be necessary if they use several accounts throughout the day.

Data Encryption Services

Data encryption is important for businesses that must meet regulatory requirements, but every business should include encryption as part of their security strategy. The most comprehensive approach is usually to encrypt any and all data that may be passing through or coming from your business via email, your website, or the internet in general.

Encryption is about protecting data during transit so that theft by interception is nearly impossible. There are many forms of encryption including website, email, network, and hardware encryption. Encryption is becoming the new standard for many businesses. Most major email plat- forms either encrypt emails automatically or make it easy to encrypt emails yourself. At the beginning of 2017, Wired magazine reported that at least half of the web is now encrypted.⁵

Nonetheless, managing the encryption of your data can be difficult and time-consuming. An MSSP can provide your company with Encryption as a Service (EaaS) so you can focus on other tasks with the knowledge that your data is secure. They can also provide additional network layer encryption and hardware encryption.

Security Assessments

Many organizations are bound by regulations and must have certain security measures in place in case they are audited, but any organization that handles important data should check their security status regularly. An MSSP can help you conduct such evaluations and asses your own security. It’s important to do this regularly, as time creates gaps in security that can make you vulnerable to new forms of attack. During a security assessment, an MSSP will look for common problems, including:

  • Poor network architecture
  • System configuration errors
  • Data integrity and confidentiality
  • Weak passwords and poor password regulation
  • Missing system updates and patches
  • Network vulnerabilities

An MSSP can provide an initial security assessment of your organization followed by periodic assessments to keep you secure.

Dark Web Scanning

The dark web is part of the internet that is hidden from conventional search engines like Google, and thus, doesn’t attract much legitimate traffic. It acts as a marketplace for stolen data and hosts many other illicit activities and illegal trades. When a system is breached, it’s common for cybercriminals and other bad actors to post data on the dark web for sale. An MSSP can provide you with dark web scanning to help identify any of your data for sale on the dark web, thus allowing you to minimize further damages.

Although the best protection is to protect your business from breaches in the first place, dark web scanning helps to mitigate damages. It also serves as a means to located stolen data that could have been originated before your current cybersecurity strategy was put into place.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multifactor or Two-factor Authentication (2FA) has become almost essential, as it helps to offset the risks associated with weak passwords. While you should still focus on creating strong passwords and enforcing password policies at your company, you should also take into account the possibility that at least one of those passwords will eventually be compromised. Hackers can decode passwords using cracking programs, buy them from adjacent data breaches, or bypass them using phishing scams.

Once a password is revealed, it won’t matter how strong it is. If one email account is breached, it can be used to reset the passwords of other accounts or perform further spoof email attacks within the network.

In a two-factor authentication (2FA) system, an account holder must provide two separate pieces of information to access an account. This often takes the form of a primary password and a temporary, randomly generated PIN that is usually sent to the account holder’s smartphone via SMS or email.

This can also be accomplished through a specific device that generates a random PIN, token, or password which the account holder possesses. The second piece of information, or token, is secure because only the account holder has access to it. Additional layers of security can be put in place for extremely sensitive information. For example, you can add biometrics, such as a thumbprint, as a requirement for access. Such an approach offers three layers of protection: “something the user knows,” “something the user has,” and “something the user is.”

Who are we?

mPowered IT provides a full range of IT Support, including technical helpdesk, data backup and recovery, and strategic consulting to small and medium-sized businesses. We take cybersecurity very seriously and always go the extra mile in securing both ourselves and our clients from the latest cyber threats.

We work with many types of businesses throughout the area, and strive to eliminate IT issues before they become costly and frustrating. You can continue to drive your business forward while we make sure your technology is functional and secure. Our dedicated staff loves seeing our clients succeed.

Give those hours wasted on IT problems back to your staff and create a lasting impression on your clients through superior technology services and customer care. Give us a call at 678-389-6200 or visit our website to learn more. 

SOURCES

Why Does Your Law Firm Need Managed IT Services?

Your organization needs IT support from professionals with experience in the legal sector. How can your law firm can benefit from Managed IT Services? Are technology-related struggles becoming part of the daily challenges of running your law firm? They don’t have to be.

Why Should technology Be A Priority For Your Law Firm?

The previous decade has proven that managed IT services provide the best model for addressing the IT needs of law firms like yours. Rather than taking a break/fix approach to IT, managed services set you up with a comprehensive stack of proactive solutions, productivity tools, and risk mitigation strategies.

What challenges will arise without fully-managed it?

  1. Frequent support calls

When your IT support charges by the hour, it doesn’t benefit them if your tech is working the way it should. With no motivation to minimize service call volume, you could find yourself repeatedly calling them to help with a problem that never quite gets resolved.

  1. Rapid Escalation

A minor computer problem can quickly turn into a disaster if left unchecked. Take ransomware attacks as an example; What starts out with just one malicious email can spread throughout your entire network, locking down your data, and bringing your operations to a halt.

  1. High Cost Of Downtime

A non-managed IT service will only start working after something has broken — and the clock on downtime has begun.

This is why so many law firms are opting for managed support, which can be best delivered by an IT company with experience in the legal sector. Providers like us are familiar with the needs of law firms, as well as the relevant compliance standards and increased security needs that are involved.

How Will Your firm Benefit From Managed IT Services?

Much of what a law firm does is reliant on technology, whether it be maintaining records, scheduling court dates, or communicating by email. The state of your technology directly impacts your firm’s success. Fully managed IT services are generally considered the best option for keeping your technology working, your staff productive, and your data secure.

In practice, instead of waiting for something to go wrong and stepping in to correct it, an IT company that provides IT services takes on all the responsibilities of a traditional in-house IT department. This means working to prevent issues from happening in the first place.

  1. Protect Your Firm

Security is one of the most important aspects of modern technology. As the role of tech evolves and the depth of data expands, the number of ways your IT network can be compromised increases. Protective measures must be put in place, and your security constantly monitored.

Working with a managed IT services company, you’ll have access to cybersecurity technologies and best practices that were once only available to large enterprises. Whereas affording enterprise anti-virus solutions, advanced email security software, and end-user awareness training would be cost-prohibitive on an independent basis, doing so with a managed IT services company is extremely cost-effective.

  1. Vendor MANAGEMENT

Your IT system is a complex — and often expensive — investment. From budgeting to installation to ongoing maintenance, operating the hardware and software necessary to support a business is a daunting task. It also involves choosing and managing large numbers of hardware and software vendors.

The research for external service alone is enough to frustrate anyone that would rather just have their IT infrastructure meet their business needs without all the hassle. You also need to communicate with vendors in other areas of your firm (copiers, alarm systems, phones, etc.) to address all of your needs.

As their technologies integrate into your IT environment, you need to make sure they’re being managed properly. Your IT support should make use of every industry connection they have in communicating with third-party vendors on your behalf. Whether they are software developers, Internet service providers, copier or telephone companies, your IT company should work on your behalf to get the best solutions, products, and services for your business.

  1. improved Efficiency and productivity

Downtime is extremely harmful for businesses of all types. Small businesses with up to 50 million in annual revenue reported last year that just a single hour of downtime cost them $8,600. The main cost of downtime is not remediation, it’s the loss in your firm’s productivity. If an IT-related or natural disaster occurs and takes critical systems offline, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, yet your normal business expenses will carry on.

During downtime, you will incur all the expenses of running a firm without the revenue you would usually generate. Even if downtime does not bring your entire operation to a halt, some of your staff will have to divert themselves from their normal work to mitigate the problem resulting in wasted hours. While your systems are down, it’s almost certain you can’t deliver services, conduct research, or communicate effectively with clients.

The fact is that downtime is often the result of poorly supported IT. The best way to approach downtime prevention is proactively – you need to keep an eye out for minor issues that could spiral into total stoppages. You should implement and test backup solutions to minimize losses from outages. You need to enhance your cybersecurity to protect against cybercrime.

Clearly, that’s a lot of IT to handle on your own, especially when you have other work to focus on. This is exactly why Managed IT Services companies have become so popular in the legal space. They’ll provide 24/7 active monitoring of your systems, enact business continuity best practices, backup solutions, and cybersecurity services that will keep costly downtime at a minimum. Managed IT providers are simply the easiest, fastest way to turn your technology into an asset instead of a hassle.

For more information, call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 or visit mpoweredit.com.

Transitioning to Managed Services

transitioning to managed services

Every business is looking for affordable proactive IT management and support. The managed service approach should provide a range of necessary, proactive services that will keep your technology running and productive. These services include Virtualization, Server Infrastructure, Data Management, Operating Systems, Security, Unified Communications, Cloud Solutions, and more.

DATA CENTER/NETWORK ADMINISTRATION

Critical IT infrastructure is our specialty, and our data centers hold the highest level of security certification, verified through regular audits. As well as holding true to various IT compliance standards, we meet the stringent criteria laid out by the banking and payment sector — Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) — and healthcare — HIPAA. Our flexible end-to-end data center services can help to accelerate your business growth and satisfy any number of data management needs.

CLOUD SERVICES

The right mix of private and hybrid cloud solutions can meet your needs while cutting your overall IT expenses. With the continued and accelerating move to cloud computing, notably IaaS and SaaS, we are focused on providing a managed services-led solution that makes transitioning your business to the cloud a snap.

CYBERSECURITY SERVICES

Our managed cybersecurity services are designed to supplement or replace in-house security staff. As a true managed security service provider, we provide solutions for today’s most complex information security challenges. Through active monitoring and live remediation, our services help eliminate blind spots and minimize your risk profile.

APPLICATIONS MANAGED SERVICES

Our team delivers world-class applications management, customized for your specific operational needs. Drawing on extensive expertise across a wide array of enterprise applications, our application support and maintenance services include enhancements, 24×7 support, production support, service help desk, monitoring, and more.

ENTERPRISE SYSTEM MANAGEMENT

Enjoy the benefits of hosting, consulting and support services, and proactive monitoring all from a single provider. You gain access to a systems management operating system, as well as a host of support functionality to keep your systems productive through the power of the cloud, and offer you an integrated view of your entire infrastructure.

END USER COMPUTING SERVICES

Our team can evaluate your computing needs to align them with best-practices, giving you an environment that delivers consistency and reliability at all times.

For more information, call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 or visit mpoweredit.com.

Is your law firm as secure as it could be?

Research shows that most law firms are confident about their cybersecurity – but are they really as safe as they believe?

Cybersecurity and Your Law Firm

The legal sector is facing truly challenging opponents outside of the courtroom – cyber criminals.

The stakes have never been higher

These rising threats are why cybersecurity is becoming a more common topic of discussion in the legal industry. And while surveys have shown that 80% of legal organizations consider their cybersecurity to be sufficient, that may not be the case.

Why Are Law Firms Targets For Cybercriminals?

The short answer is that law firms store lots of private data about their clients. “Law firms present a tempting target for cybercrime,” says Jason Rorie, CEO of MSP Overwatch. “Their servers hold incredibly valuable personal information.”

“Cybercriminals tend to focus on targets that are rich in personal or financial data,” adds Rorie. “They gain access to the data through ransomware or a breach, then sell it on the Dark Web to other criminals who use it in a number of ways.”

Stolen private data is used for everything from voter fraud to opening credit accounts. This activity often happens months after the initial theft of the data.

How Are Legal Firms Addressing Cybersecurity?

Recently, a third of in-house counsel respondents in “The State off Cybersecurity Report: an in-house perspective” reported that they had experienced a data breach. Cybercrime is only expected to grow from here, with the occurrence rate of data breaches estimated to increase by 22.5% each year up to 2023. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association (ABA):

  • 75% of firms are using some anti-virus software.
  • 58% of responding firms are using a firewall or anti-phishing software.
  • 33% of firms are using email encryption software.
  • 25% are using device encryption software.
  • 17% of law firms have some directory security in place
  • 25% of firms train their staff on cybersecurity best practices

At mPowered IT, we have the experience and solutions needed to keep you safe through this year’s challenges and beyond. To learn more reach out to us at 678-389-6200 or schedule a free zero obligation consultation here.

10 Cybersecurity Threats to Watch in 2021

Cybercrime affects everyone, but business owners tend to have the biggest targets painted on their backs. Contrary to popular belief, small businesses are often more heavily targeted than large enterprises. Why?

Because they’re usually easier targets.

Recent research suggests that most small companies have unprotected data and poor cybersecurity practices in place, making them vulnerable to data breach or ransomware attacks. Small business owners are usually too busy trying to manage their day-to-day operations to worry about things like IT defense, cybersecurity awareness training, or a staff-wide culture of cyber safety.

Hopefully, you’ve already begun taking a more serious stance toward cybersecurity. As you do so, take note of the ever-evolving nature of the cyber threat landscape and what new dangers are out there.

The following is a list of growing cybersecurity threats you’ll likely hear more about this year both inside and outside of the business world:

1. Deepfakes

Deepfakes are created with “deep thinking” artificial intelligence technology creates fake images, videos, or sounds that appear to be real. These are often used to mislead the public by making it appear that a politician or celebrity said or did something that never actually happened.

Deepfake voice technology allows people to spoof the voices of other people — often people in power. The potential of issuing fake orders to subordinates or making fraudulent statements to the press is very high and could be used in all sorts of manipulation ploys.

2. AI-driven cyberattacks

As with any new technology, AI is a double-edged sword. Although it’s being used to help with cybersecurity, AI has also been co-opted by bad actors to create and execute cyberattacks.

Using artificial intelligence, cyber criminals are able to create programs that mirror human behavior or carry out large-scale cyber attacks through automation.

3. “Poisoning” Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence learns new models or systems over time. Usually, an AI has to pore through large amounts of data to establish patterns and learn a specific behavior.

During this learning period, cybercriminals can feed the AI program bad data in what’s known as a poisoning attack. The goal of the attack is to teach the AI something that benefits the hacker.

For example, if AI is supposed to be learning how to spot spam emails or network intrusion attempts, hackers can feed in data that teaches the AI to ignore something that should be a red flag. If carried out fully, these attacks can create backdoors through any number of AI-driven systems.

4. Disinformation in social media

Spreading disinformation has been a manipulation tactic for as long as people have been communicating. The challenge we’re facing in the information age is that disinformation can be spread very quickly with almost no chance of stopping its momentum.

Although this is largely blamed on social media, many believe that a lack of critical thinking skills in the general population is not helping the matter. Bad actors know that this is a human weakness and are using disinformation to great effect.

5. New cybersecurity challenges that 5G creates

New technologies always bring about new cybersecurity challenges, and most experts agree that 5G is no exception.

A 2019 study by Information Risk Management said that survey respondents worried that 5G technology will result in a greater risk of cyberattacks on Internet of Things (IoT) networks.

Cybersecurity is a constant back-and-forth, so cybersecurity experts aren’t so much worried as they are getting themselves prepared. If new threats or vulnerabilities emerge, they will respond to eliminate them.

6. Vehicle cyberattacks

Connecting cars and trucks sounds like a great idea from a standpoint of technological progress, but doing so opens up the possibility of cyberattacks which directly target vehicles.

Even with current vehicle-borne technology, hackers might be able to access or manipulate travel data, engine management, and onboard cameras and entertainment devices. Many worry that in the future, vulnerable computers will also be linked to safety or driver control systems.

7. Cloud jacking

More businesses are moving to the cloud, and more of the world’s most commonly used software is doing the same. Cloud jacking seeks to take advantage of this migration by infiltrating these programs and systems and using them to mine for cryptocurrency, leak data, or send out spoofing attacks.

8. Election security

Experts are concerned that hackers from other countries might target the voter-registration databases for state and local governments, with the intent to either destroy or disrupt this information. This could corrupt an election through fraud, or prevent large groups of people from voting at all.

This risk doesn’t just apply to the United States, but threatens any nation with a democratic process.

9. Ransomware attacks on the public sector

Hackers are ramping up attacks that target government bodies, including municipalities, public utilities, and fire and police departments. Using ransomware, these attacks hijack their computer systems until these government agencies pay a ransom. Since this method creates significant — and often dangerous — interruptions in public services, the ransoms are often paid without question.

10. Breaches in hospitals and medical networks

2020 saw what was reported as the first human death officially linked to a cyberattack. This occurred after cybercriminals hit a hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany with ransomware, resulting in treatment delays that led to a woman’s death.

Hospitals and other medical providers are prime targets for cybercriminals due to their importance and the sheer quantity of private information they access. The personal and financial information is extremely valuable on the dark web, and hospital administrators are often left with no choice but to pay ransoms to avoid human suffering.

Cyberattacks will only get worse as our reality becomes more intertwined with technology. What steps are you taking to ensure your business can face these new challenges?

If you’re like most, you’re wondering how your organization can handle it all yourself. That’s where MSPs like mPowered IT can help. Rather than taking on new staff, you can place the security of your network and data in our capable hands.

We have the experience and solutions needed to keep you safe through this year’s challenges and beyond. To learn more reach out to us at 678-389-6200.

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