In late 2020, SolarWinds, a major IT firm in the United States, was hit with a cybersecurity attack from foreign hackers that spread through its client base of more than 33,000 customers. It went undetected for months. The hack made it possible to spy on private companies as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department.
What’s more, SolarWinds regularly sent out software updates to their customers that unknowingly included the hacked code. It created a back door to SolarWinds customers’ IT systems, allowing the hackers to then install even more malware to spy on companies and organizations that used SolarWinds.
SolarWinds didn’t even know about it, and it affected everyone and everything it touched.
High-profile breaches on a grand scale like the one that scarred SolarWinds affect companies large and small. In fact, many small and midsize businesses and organizations like yours are now just as at risk as larger entities. The difference, however, is that small and midsize businesses often don’t have the resources and budget to counteract them.
A study by Deep Instinct shows that Malware increased by 358% in 2020 and that ransomware increased by 435% as compared with 2019. Some of the common threats in their design are downright sinister. For example, ransomware literally ransoms files and systems: If you don’t pay, you’re locked out.
Worse, there are cases where subjects have paid and remained locked out anyway. InfoTech Security reports that someone falls victim to a ransomware attack every 20 seconds, and according to Sensors Tech Forum, one in five Americans will be a victim of some kind of ransomware.
A more common, yet still prevalent and effective, threat is the phishing scam, where users click on a disguised link in an email and give hackers access to all sorts of sensitive information. We’re warned about it constantly, but many computer users nonetheless fall for it every day. In fact, Google has registered 2,145,013 phishing sites as of January 17, 2021.
The worst part of all of this? The size of your business doesn’t matter. These types of hacks, intrusions and security breaches do not discriminate. If you have any kind of computer system, you’re a possible cybersecurity target at all times.
No business is safe without the proper precautions, tools and remediation techniques.
The costs that result from cybercrimes are enormous and continue to increase. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cybercrime impact is expected to reach $6 trillion in 2021 and nearly double that by 2025. Every single small to midsize business could face insurmountable costs from cybersecurity attacks.
Cyberattacks also cause long-term losses that can take an immeasurable toll on a business for productivity, success and profit, including:
- Downtime, lost productivity and lost time
- Damage to your reputation
- Potential legal implications
- Bankruptcy and going out of business
Those are huge implications, and the threat is very real. But there are a variety of cost-effective ways to protect yourself. Learn about these methods and more by downloading our full Network and Server Security eBook today!