cyber attacks on the rise

Why Cyberattacks Are on the Rise — And How to Prevent Them

Cyberattacks have become so common that some experts believe that ransomware—a type of attack that holds your computer system hostage until you pay a ransom—will attack a business every 11 seconds by the end of 2021. 

As the number of crimes increases year after year, cybersecurity becomes more important. Without reliable cybersecurity, your business could suffer from lost productivity, legal liability, business continuity issues, financial loss, and damage to your brand’s reputation.

It can take years to recover from a successful cyberattack, especially when it exposes your clients’ data to criminals who want to commit identity fraud. Before you can choose a managed risk plan that works for your organization, you need to understand why cyberattacks happen more often these days. Then, you can explore ways to prevent attacks from targeting you.

Why Cyberattacks Have Become More Common

Several factors have contributed to the increase in cyberattacks, including:

  • The willingness of organizations and governments to pay ransoms.
  • The rise of remote work, which can increase a business’s exposure to risk.
  • The growing reliance on connected devices.
  • The amount of processing power needed to mine bitcoins and other digital currencies.

Paying Ransoms

Organizations often feel immense pressure to pay ransoms. In 2020, hackers targeted dozens of hospitals and labs working on a coronavirus vaccine. The organizations agreed to pay the ransoms because they were desperate to regain access to their work. With millions of lives on the line, they could not lose the progress they had made toward developing and testing a vaccine.

Similarly, criminals have targeted hospitals that give in because the facilities need patient files to provide treatments. Cities have paid ransoms because ransomware prevented them from providing essential services.

On an individual level, it makes sense for these groups to pay ransoms. Unfortunately, each payment makes hackers more confident that their threats will work. As a result, more criminals turn to ransomware to make money.

Remote Work and Connected Devices

Many organizations struggle with cybersecurity even when they have control over their IT infrastructures. Now that more businesses rely on BYOD policies and remote work, IT infrastructures have become harder to control. If a remote worker downloads malware, it could attack the employer’s network through a cloud connection.

Mining Digital Currencies

It takes a lot of processing power for people to “mine” digital currencies like bitcoin. Hackers have found that they can make a lot of money through an attack called “cryptojacking.” The most effective cryptojacking malware works quietly in the background. It slows your system, but it doesn’t call attention to itself, so it can continue mining cryptocurrencies.

How Cybersecurity Can Prevent Attacks

Some of the most effective approaches to managed risk include:

  • Updating operating systems and applications to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Training employees to spot signs of phishing and dangerous attachments.
  • Encrypting all files and data.
  • Installing a firewall and securing Wi-Fi networks.
  • Changing passwords regularly.
  • Limiting access to files and databases that contain sensitive information.

Few businesses have large IT departments that can manage a comprehensive cybersecurity program. You will likely find that you can save money and manage risk better by outsourcing your cybersecurity protection to a company that offers managed security and managed IT solutions.

Protect Your Business

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the right cybersecurity that keeps your business safe from attacks. Contact us to learn more about your cybersecurity options and get a quote for the services that match your needs.