Why Last Year’s IT Security Puts You at Risk for Cyber Attacks Today
As our digital infrastructure becomes more ubiquitous, cybercriminals are getting bolder and more aggressive, exploiting lax security in software and hardware to infiltrate and damage businesses and other entities that operate in an online environment.
These criminals are looking for any vulnerability — any hole — that can provide a form of access. Specifically, vulnerabilities can present themselves in the form of hardware or software. That means that any piece of equipment that’s connected online can be a potential vector for attack, particularly if your IT security is not updated frequently.
How Lax Security Leaves You Vulnerable
If you don’t refresh your cybersecurity tools on a regular basis, you run the risk of a cybersecurity breach. Breaches often result in one or more of the following:
Denial of Service
Denial of service (DOS) or distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks are performed to bring down a company’s online presence or in-house equipment so they can’t perform necessary services. Many times, this is simply a distraction while the cyber-criminals perform other, more critical attacks. It is also used by some groups to make a political statement.
Often, cyber-criminals may target a company with ransomware — a malicious software installation that encrypts data to make it unusable. Normally, the attacker will offer an encryption key to the victim for a price —the ransom — and threatens to delete the data permanently if the ransom is not paid.
Cyber-attacks are also focused on the outright theft of data like passwords, credit card information, and personal details that they can sell for profit on the dark web. Not only can you lose your data in an IT security breach like this, you can also be held liable for not protecting the data, which can result in lawsuits and potential loss of business.
What Are Critical Updates?
Despite a series of damaging data breaches that affected entities as diverse as the U.S. government, search engines, and large retailers, companies are still slow to install critical updates for issues that put them at known risk for cyber-attack.
Working on out-of-date software or even hardware leaves your company vulnerable and gives cybercriminals a way to cause harm.
Keeping up with critical updates is a good way to keep your cybersecurity measures at their most defensive. Critical updates are issued when software (or hardware) manufacturers discover a vulnerability in their product.
Ideally, these updates should be installed as soon as possible after their release, even if it’s a smaller security patch that addresses minor issues.
Keeping Your IT Security in Top Shape for the Highest Level of Protection
As your company grows and changes, so will your IT security needs. Best practices note that not only is it wise to update your system with required security patches and critical updates, but you should also consider updating or replacing your range of IT security tools from time to time.
That practice will keep your business protected from the latest attack strategies and close any security gaps that may be due to inherent errors or glitches in machines and/or software.
It’s also smart to check feeds that focus on vulnerability alerts and associated advisory sites to ensure your corporate data is as secure as possible. These include the National Vulnerability Database, SANS Internet Storm Center, and SecurityFocus, among others.
Finally, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security simply because you have the “latest” security technologies. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving new ways to get around common security measures.
To counter this, many companies choose to hire a Cybersecurity Officer (CSO) — an employee whose job it is to keep the organization up to date on patches and security releases. Others employ a Managed Services company that is well-equipped to keep equipment up-to-date and is scalable, besides, giving you the long-term flexibility you need to keep your company protected as it grows.
Kelley Imaging – Your IT Solutions Experts in Great Falls, Montana
With over 40 years of providing Managed Network and Print Services, Kelley Imaging has the expertise to provide technology planning and services to businesses in the Great Falls, Montana area.
Our highly-skilled team is equipped with the latest knowledge and tools to provide your network with the greatest possible level of protection and keep you on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity.