IT Insights

5 Lessons every small business should learn from successful cyberattacks

Cybercrime isn’t a fairytale; rather, the work of cybercriminals is a lot like the Big Bad Wolf in ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ since they go to great lengths to steal a little basket of goodies from an unassuming little child regardless of its contents.

Here at Sabio IT, we act as the hunters who save you from the big bad wolves that prowl the dark web. That said, we feel it’s imperative for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to learn the following lessons from some of today’s most common cyberthreats.

Never assume you are safe

Like large corporations, small businesses are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. In fact, SMBs are principal targets for phishing attacks and other types of email fraud. Dealing with these scams have become a national crisis that existing cybersecurity laws are being amended to account for small businesses’ protection.

Data breaches suffered by large companies like Target (2013), Yahoo (2013-2014), and Equifax (2017) resulted in millions’ worth of compromised customer data and lost profits. Your business database may not have the same amount of data, but cybercriminals operating on a smaller scale see SMBs’ database as an equally lucrative source of earnings.

Hackers can strike at any time

Are you putting off implementing a cybersecurity strategy for the 10th time? That’s a big mistake. Cyberattacks are highly unpredictable, and the only thing you can expect from hackers is that they strike when you least expect them.

2017 was a banner year for the cybercrime industry due to successful high-profile attacks — from the EternalBlue exploits, which leveraged SMBs’ unpatched Windows operating systems, to the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, which infected hundreds of thousands of companies globally. This shows you how woefully unprepared many businesses — both large and small — are when it comes to cyberthreat protection.

When monitoring our Florida clients’ network and systems, our mindset is: Hackers can strike anytime… today. This is how we’ve managed to dodge numerous cases of security incidents.

Scrimping on security increases risk

Minimizing the chance of a breach should be a major consideration when planning your IT security budget. However, we don’t recommend spending $100,000 on data worth $1,000.

Sometimes, protecting your systems simply entails upgrading outdated operating systems that no longer receive support from the OS company, training staff on internal and external threats, and limiting their access to data or systems only to those they need to do their tasks.

Choosing an MSP that doesn’t charge huge fees is also a way to spend on IT security wisely. That’s why Sabio’s Wise Care service plans are designed to improve your IT’s performance for an affordable monthly fee.

Cybercriminals are highly strategic

Thinking you’ve got cybercriminals all figured out could set you up for further victimization.

Take gift card fraud for instance. Scammers exploit gift cards by cloning gift accounts or monetizing the value of gift cards by converting them into cash. In worst case scenarios, a business’s customers are the ones victimized due to commonly neglected security practices like easy-to-guess passwords.

These scams don’t yield profits as frequently as credit or debit card fraud, but they’re just as lucrative — aside from being low-risk for hackers, gift card systems don’t have the same security features as bank cards.

You can’t control everything

We don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but the truth is that cybercrime is a thriving industry run by cybercriminals, many of whom are very good at what they do. In case your business gets attacked by nasty ransomware, your best hope is for your backup plan to work and mitigate damages.

Ultimately, prevention is better than cure. Regardless of business size and industry, deploying a multitiered, robust IT cybersecurity strategy is crucial to reducing your business’s risks.

With Sabio Information Technologies’ certified consultants as your IT team, your critical business data won’t be left unattended in the wilderness. Ask us anything about our Managed IT Solutions.