With worldwide damages from cybercrime reportedly expected to top $6 trillion in 2021 (up from $3 trillion in 2015), organisations need to do everything they can to protect themselves against the dangers that ransomware or other cyberattacks pose.
Even the likes of Apple can suffer from the hands of ransomware, with one of their major suppliers recently suffering a recent breach, and receiving a demand for $50 million to return the confidential product information that was effectively stolen.
And for those in the Public Sector, this presents a unique set of challenges – especially with the recent proliferation of remote working and the increasing number of partner organisations they work with, broadening the network edge and therefore, the number of vulnerabilities that could be exploited.
Allowing staff to access your internal systems from their own devices outside of the office, has the potential to cause huge security concerns if adequate precautions aren’t taken. So, how do these hackers gain entry, and what can you do to stop it happening to your organisation? Keep on reading to find out!
How Do Ransomware Attacks Happen?
The most common strategy for hackers to gain entry to a system is through a phishing attack, where an employee receives an email that looks like it’s from a reputable source – a bank for example – and asks the reader to click a link and verify their information. Obviously, the link does not go to the bank’s actual website, but a near-perfect copy that the hacker has made themselves, from which any data submitted can be used for nefarious purposes.
Often they will simply use a strategy like this to simply steal an employee’s personal or financial information for profit. But, if they gain the right credentials or the same email/password is used across personal and business accounts, a hacker could use the information to install a small program across the network that completely halts operations and locks-out everyone’s access until a ransom is paid – hence the term ‘ransomware’ (a portmanteau of ‘ransom’ and ‘software’).
Then there’s good old ‘brute force’. If a hacker has found a valid username for an internal system, through simple research or a phishing attack for example, they have the option of trying to guess your password to gain access. And with a combination of sub-par cyber safeguards, a powerful enough computer and the right code, it’s just a matter of time before a machine trying thousands of permutations every minute, finds the right password to gain entry.
That’s why anyone ‘in the know’ will highly recommend that you look to work with a company that offers security solutions that extend the protections of your office network to your staffs’ home devices. Therefore, minimising your exposure and reducing the chance of a hacker either making a successful phishing attack in the first place, or preventing them from accessing the system, even when they have the right credentials.
What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Partner
No matter the size of your operation – large or small – there are reasons to safeguard your data. The average cost to rectify a breach for SMBs in 2020 was over £4,500, so even for small businesses, the cost of working with a partner like BDR is far more attractive than risking the cost of a breach – let alone the effcts on brand credibility and customer trust!
Primarily, you need a partner that has the expertise that your team doesn’t, whether that’s across encryption, network management and firewalls, or employee best practice. And the right partner should know it all as experts in their field, and own those responsibilities to leave you free to focus on the operation and serving your customers.
Encryption is a major aspect of any IT operation, ensuring that data sent across your network cannot be interecepted and read without your knowledge. In fact, if you use messaging services like WhatsApp, iMessage then you’re already using encryption, you just never realised it! Though, when it comes to business encryption, things get a little more complicated, with encryption keys and validations to ensure only the right people have access to your data.
Network Management and Firewalls
Having someone keep an eye on your network ensures that any unexpected behaviour gets investigated immeaditely, allowing you to be proactive in keeping your data secure by stopping attacks before they get access in the first place.
In combination with strong network management, a robust firewall shields your network from dangerous threats and prevents unauthorised access or infiltration, by inspecting incoming traffic for known attack methods and ensure that these do not inflict costly damage to your digital environment.
Employee Best Practice
Sadly, human error – especially in the forms of phishing emails and easy-to-guess passwords – are two of the most common methods of entry for hackers. Which is why many consumer services now use multi-factor authentication (where 2 or more methods are used to verify an identity), and has quickly become one of the most important security features around today, helping to eliminate the threat of stolen credentials or phishing scams.
All told, BDR’s range of solutions are compliant with all data protection regulations, including GDPR. Beyond this, all our services are hosted in ISO 27001 certified data centres, ensuring we comply with your group security policy. We can even help train your teams to catch attacks like phishing before they become a major issue.
No matter your needs, BDR has the expertise, manpower and technology to safeguard your confidential data and operational systems to keep you running. Even when hackers are using every weapon in their arsenal to gain access to your network.