Cybercrime is Spiking: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Modern Cyberthreats
Cybercrime is Spiking: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Modern Cyberthreats
We are all living through a historical period of time. On top of political, societal, and economic upheavals, the digital space also faces unprecedented challenges. In the wake of COVID-19, companies were forced to make an urgent shift to remote work. This global disruption presented a unique opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of vulnerable networks and personnel.
Currently, global cybercrime damages are estimated to add up to $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, making it one of the largest global epidemics we’ve ever seen. At NOYNIM, we believe there is a fine line between fear and productivity. Our mission is to keep you informed about cybercrime trends, so you can best mitigate risk and get back to doing business. Here are five simple tips to help you safeguard against this unprecedented spike in cybercrime:
#1: Assume You Are a Target for Cybercrime
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to accept that, unfortunately, you are a target. Many small and mid-sized business owners believe that cybercriminals have bigger fish to fry. They see headlines like Facebook and Google Were Victims of $100M Payment Scam and shrug it off as something that only happens to the big guys.
The truth is that smaller businesses are attractive to hackers because they require less skill and lower consequences to invade. As The Denver Post points out, “For every breach that grabs the headlines, there are thousands of smaller businesses being hit by online fraud attempts that are growing rapidly in boldness, frequency, and sophistication.” The sooner you accept that you are a target, the faster you can implement cybersecurity solutions to protect your organization.
#2: Train Your Team
Now that most of us primarily work from home, employees are less likely to recognize a cyberattack. Personal and professional life blends together and it is harder to spot malicious intent online. It is also easier for cybercriminals to identify and isolate the “weakest link” in an organization. Hackers’ targeted research methods and personalized email messages can victimize unassuming employees in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, as hackers get more sophisticated, so can you. We recommend educating yourself and your staff about the current cyberthreat landscape. There are free resources available online that can help cover the basics. However, to fully insulate your network from cyberattacks, we encourage you to enroll your staff in cybersecurity awareness training.
The “human-factor” is what makes cyberattacks so powerful. Through IT security training, your team will receive phishing templates and simulations. If employees click through the fake emails then you know additional IT security training is necessary. Simulations are one of the best methods you can use to perform an IT security risk assessment on your staff.
Another recommended safeguard is modern endpoint security solutions such as EDR. EDR enables you the ability to lockdown endpoints so users cannot download malware and/or a virus by accident. If you are interested in implementing EDR or signing up for cybersecurity awareness training, email us at email@example.com or call us at 720-524-8616 x 1.
#3: Understand That this Cybercrime Trend Will Continue
In the same way experts warned us about the possibility of a global pandemic ahead of COVID-19, cyber experts are sounding the alarm regarding an impending cybersecurity disaster. As the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division explains, “The rapid and unplanned shift to moving our entire lives online creates a host of opportunities for professional cybercriminals.” Historically, this is the most digitally vulnerable we have ever been.
Forbes reports that “The year 2020 broke all records when it came to data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyberattacks on companies, government, and individuals.” The reality is that this is just the beginning of a new frontier for cybercriminals. In the same way we made lifestyle adjustments to accommodate the “new norm” of pandemic life, we need to be more vigilant with how we approach cybersecurity.
Now, we are well into 2021 and those forecasts are proving true. On May 6, 2021 hackers attacked the biggest petroleum pipeline in the United States. According to CNBC, the Colonial Pipeline attack is the most significant ransomware attack on critical infrastructure in history. A cybercriminal gang hacked into one of the systems for Colonial. Almost instantly, four mainlines that transport diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline were shut down. The East Coast faced a fuel shortage that led to a spike in gas prices and panic buying.
#4: Implement Multi-factor Authentication
One of the most powerful strategies for combatting cybercrime is utilizing multi-factor authentication (MFA). In fact, if Colonial Pipeline had MFA set up on all of their users without exception then their hack could have been avoided. MFA is a simple solution to the complex problem of cybercrime. But, what is it exactly?
When you think about the login process, most people have single-factor authentication set up. This means they enter their login and password to access their systems. In contrast, MFA requires multiple steps to log onto a system or application.
First, you enter the correct account login information. Then, your identity is verified through a fingerprint, smartphone application, or secure USB key. This simple method can make a huge difference in your overall security posture.
At NOYNIM, we recommend utilizing Duo MFA. Duo’s security process ensures that every user gets a push notification to their device when a login is attempted. Enabling Duo security is particularly important for Microsoft Office 365 & VPN. If you have questions about Duo, feel free to give us a call at 720.524.8616.
#5: Use a Password Manager
Using a secure password manager is another simple yet effective tip for defending yourself against cyberattacks. A password manager houses all of your login credentials. Your data stays secure through strong encryption algorithms. When you are ready to login somewhere, the password manager will autofill your password and you can easily login.
Knowing that your passwords are secure is just one benefit of a password manager. Ease of use is another great reason to start using one. You only need to remember your master password. This is a huge benefit not only because it is convenient but also because your master password can be complicated. Since you don’t have to remember all of your passwords, you can make a unique password for your master and know your bases are covered.
At NOYNIM, we recommend LastPass. They offer a free version for individuals and paid versions for enterprise. The best part is that you can set up multi-factor authentication through LastPass. They also have a password generator that helps you come up with a unique master password that is completely secure.
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At NOYNIM IT Solutions, we provide affordable cybersecurity solutions and IT services to small and mid-sized businesses across the United States. NOYNIM was founded on the belief that all businesses deserve affordable enterprise-grade IT Solutions.
Our goal is to perpetuate the growth of your business, while helping you avoid the large overhead costs often associated with employing in-house IT staff. We handle your IT needs so you can get back to business. Learn about our services here.