March 15, 2020, a cyberattack hits the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Two days earlier (March 13, 2020), Elite Hackers attempted to orchestrate a phishing attack on WHO to steal employee’s passwords. A fortnight before, Fort Worth schools are targeted by a malware attack. Numbers don’t lie, and these statistics sure point to a worrying trend.
When a ransomware attack stung two Manitoba law firms in April 2020, all their operations stalled. The enterprises had to struggle with a high conditional ransom from the attackers besides downtime caused by the Coronavirus.
The legal industry has been a prime target of cybercrime in the recent past. Daniel Tobok, a cybersecurity expert, based in Toronto, said while underscoring this emerging threat that “Sometimes they (law firms) have a false sense of security. After they get attacked, they understand that they have to invest a little more.” His assertion is corroborated by a long history of cybercrime targeting Canadian law firms dating back to and beyond 2010 when Stikeman Elliott LLP was dealt a ” crippling” data breach in what experts deduced was a bid to jeopardize BHP Billiton’s $38 billion takeovers of Potash Corp.
Tonya Ugoretz, FBI’s assistant director of the Cyber Division, reported a 300% spike in cyber crimes according to data obtained from IC3.
Nobody has guaranteed immunity against data hacks, neither do malware perpetrators discriminate on firms to attack based on size. The notion that only large firms are gullible to cyberattacks is supreme misinformation; 43% of cyberattacks target small & medium businesses.
You never know when your systems will be targeted, or the magnitude and impact of the potential attacks. The Denver Post documents that “60% of small companies that suffer a cyberattack are out of business within six months.”
Cyberattacks occur all the time. A glance at Threat Map pastes a vivid picture of the hacks that are being orchestrated at this very moment. Without proper prior preparation, your enterprise might be the next entry to these statistics.
Organizations have faced the consequences as dire as completely shutting down.
Here is a case by case scenario of some cyberattacks that significantly dented the world economy:
Some of these companies might have fully recovered, but the repercussions were hard-hitting:
1. Financial Damages
The average cost of mitigating a cyberattack, according to Threatpost, is $1.7 million. Your company might be forced to settle very high ransoms to get control of your data back. Even after regaining access to your files, more finances have to be allocated towards facilitating their forensic review, identification, and patching of any backdoors created by the hackers.
2. Compromise or Loss of Critical Company Data
When your systems are hacked, you no longer have control of who can access your data after that or what they decide to do with it. In 2016, unknown hackers leaked private details of more than 30,000 DHS employees and FBI agents. In very extreme circumstances, companies that have refused to pay ransoms have had their data completely erased.
3. Lost Productivity
As standard practice, firms are advised to disengage portions of their systems under attack from their networks to avert possible spread. This sometimes includes shutting down some operational functions, and the apparent immediate effect is downtime and a reduction in production.
4. Reputational Injury
Nobody wants to put their data at risk. When your systems are hacked, your end-users and even sometimes even your employees instinctively consider leaving. TalkTalk lost 101,000 customers due to a cyberattack that cost it over $51.7 million. This could be a business-ending event since even prospects may shy from engaging your services.
5. Huge Fines From FTC
It is the company’s responsibility to safeguard the private details of their customers and employees. Failure to guarantee this may attract very hefty fines like Facebook’s $5 billion penalty for mishandling users’ information.
There are very many cybersecurity vulnerabilities due to increased internet connectivity. Cyberattacks are the exploitation of those vulnerabilities. For the most part, individuals and business enterprises have found ways to counter cybersecurity threats using a variety of security measures.
While it’s near impossible to guarantee the total security of your systems, there are several measures you can take to forestall potential attacks and reduce their impacts:
Have you experienced a recent attack on your systems, and you are struggling to recover? Do you doubt the potential of your current IT Solutions provider to safeguard your network from outside attack?
Try us at 403Tech; businesses in Calgary have trusted us to provide them with cybersecurity, Cloud, and Managed Services for almost a decade now. We understand that IT is a time-consuming project, and are keen on saving you this time and money.
Scott Gallupe of 403Tech Discusses Cybersecurity Threats in Business in Calgary Article
The COVID-19 pandemic sent businesses scrambling to pivot from an office-based environment to a remote workforce. A recent issue of Business in Calgary featured 403Tech President Scott Gallupe, who advised on how local businesses can protect their IT systems from cybersecurity threats. He explained that passwords and video collaboration tools are possible entryways for viruses and malware. The article, Alright, Stop, Collaborate and Listen, features several local IT leaders, describes the issues faced by business owners during the pandemic and provides guidance on ways to protect business data from ransomware and other types of cyberattacks.