Midmarket organizations simply cannot avoid the potential of a cyber attack. These basic steps can help protect your organization in the face of growing cyber security threats.
It isn’t just enterprise-level organizations that are being hit by cyber security breaches, and it’s high time for midmarket companies to sit up and take notice. Cyber security is far from simply being a technology problem; instead, it’s a problem that needs to be analyzed by risk management throughout the organization. The reason for the spread of responsibility is because hackers and others attempting to infiltrate your secure network cannot be stopped simply by purchasing newer, better or more software and hardware. The response to creating a more secure organization isn’t a simple one, so many smaller and midmarket organizations simply give up on the level of complexity required and do nothing — which can prove to be an exceptionally expensive decision. The healthcare industry is the most likely to be breached, with companies experiencing over $6.2 billion in losses in 2016 alone. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps that non-enterprise organizations can take to provide additional layers of security against cyber attacks.
The unfortunate reality is that many organizations are not aware that they’ve experienced a breach until more than six months down the road — far too long to protect individuals from negative impact. Part of the reason for this lack of awareness is due to the lack of a protection plan that looks for markers within a system’s infrastructure that indicate that a breach has occurred. The first step is a deep understanding of where data is stored within your organization, and detailed steps for backup and security of that data. Cybersecurity partners may be able to help you define a structured plan to mitigate the risk within your company, by restricting access to specific types of data, properly training associates and putting adequate processes and technology in place. The first step in building any cybersecurity plan is to fully comprehend the various entry and exit points for your data, and define parameters around how the data is accessed.
Training and Security
The reality is that many cyber attacks are carried out by either malicious insider actions or through employee carelessness that leads to an open incursion point. Perhaps the number one threat to organizations is email and social media — and employees who react to phishing and spear phishing attacks by clicking on a link. Hackers are becoming more savvy, using social engineering to find a plausible target for attack. These emails are sneaky and can often take the form of personalized information that seems very legitimate. With URL masking and other tactics at their disposal, cyber criminals are becoming even more brazen in their attacks against well-meaning employees. Constant training and reiterating the dangers of clicking on links that look “too good to be true”, or that contain unexpected instructions are some of the only ways to guard against this type of incursion. Additionally, it’s important that your technology team regularly review administrative rights that are granted at a global level. While they may seem like a convenience for the worker, having someone with administrative rights on a machine connected to your network can be a tempting option for hackers to take advantage of.
A huge challenge in today’s mobile business world is the trend of employees to BYOD — or bring their own device. A non-secure mobile phone with random apps installed by the employee, that has access to your network, is a hack waiting to happen. Technology teams are often focused on serving their employees more effectively and providing them with the conveniences that employees need to work effectively, but there is a fine line there that should be observed. When organizations embrace a zero-trust philosophy, they are much less likely to fall victim to a cyber attack.
Depending on the type of business, it may be important to purchase cybersecurity insurance. Healthcare organizations, legal entities and other midmarket companies who make their living through a wealth of customer knowledge are prime targets for cyber criminals. Unfortunately, the wake of an attack can also involve lawsuits from those affected by the hack and if your organization is not prepared to weather the storm it could be very difficult to stay afloat. Companies who manage hundreds of thousands to millions of records, in particular, should take care to mitigate the risk of civil liability. While the federal government offers some insurance against attacks, regulatory and legislative environments could change at any time.
Breaches are happening on an almost daily basis, but it is next to impossible to keep up with the broad spectrum of threats that are facing midmarketing organizations all the time. While headline-grabbing cyber attacks do not happen exceptionally often, there are always organizations out there looking to make a quick buck on “protections” for your company. It’s increasingly important to find a vendor in Central and Northern California who truly understands your business and how to protect you from rising cyber security threats. Breach detection systems are among some of the more recent entrants to fight cyber attacks, and they include logs of login activity, user authentication, database access and also track system modifications that may be malicious. As the threat grows, so do the tools utilized to fight these threats — and they’re becoming increasingly affordable to midmarket companies.
Do not let the evolving digital challenges threaten your organization. At Apex, our cyber security professionals work closely with your leadership team to define data structures and entry points, create successful training, and document risk management plans to ensure the safety of your organization. In the event of an incursion, our teams leap into action to resolve the situation and get your business back on track — quickly. Contact us today via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (800) 310-2739.