The threat of cyber attacks is growing. 

Almost every week, we hear a new story about a security breach. We've all gotten the email: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately, our system compromised your information." It's alarming, and it isn't reassuring. No one wants to be the next victim. 

But there are more attacks than just the ones you hear about on the news. Attacks are happening every minute of every day—and they're getting worse. The problem is that people don't know how to deal with them—and even worse, they don't know how to prevent them from happening in the first place. 

Cyber security is a growing problem, as attacks on networks are becoming more common. In the past year alone, the number of reported security breaches increased by 40%. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the total amount of losses in 2021 was $6.9 billion. 

Cyber threats include: 

  • Malware (malicious software). 
  • Ransomware (which uses malware to lock up data and ask for a ransom). 
  • Phishing (attempting to trick people into entering credentials or sensitive data on fake websites). 
  • Social engineering (trying to manipulate people into revealing sensitive information). 

Attackers use these methods to steal money, hold data hostage, or steal intellectual property. Cyber attackers may also be able to access confidential documents such as employee files or financial information. In extreme cases, even destruction of data may occur. Hence why cyber security services are crucial in the digital age. 

The number of cyber attacks on businesses is increasing 

The number of cyberattacks on businesses is steadily increasing. In fact, the FBI reports that the number of complaints about online crime has risen by over 1,300%. That number will only continue to grow in light of the changes that occurred after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused nearly half of Americans to work from home for safety reasons--and the trend stuck. 

Cybercriminals have the upper hand. They have sophisticated tools that make it easier than ever to breach your defenses at their disposal. At the same time, you must rely on a patchwork of disparate solutions and protocols, each with its vulnerabilities. 

To keep your data safe, you need to get smart—and fast. 

Poor password hygiene is making the job easier for hackers.

Remote work is here to stay, and organizations get on board and adapt.  

The remote environment has many benefits, but it also presents unique challenges to cybersecurity. And these challenges are only going to grow in the coming years as more and more employees join the remote workforce. 

A recent survey of IT professionals found that poor password hygiene is one of the most significant security challenges presented by remote workers. These poor password practices make it easier for hackers to penetrate your network and steal valuable data—and their job is already easy enough. A recent report found that hackers can access confidential information in less than two minutes using readily available tools like the dark web or social media. 

This is a problem that cannot be ignored. Companies invest too much time, money, and energy into creating secure networks and training employees, only to have everything undone by a few bad passwords. Remote workers tend to do just a bit less in terms of password hygiene than their counterparts in the office. While this may seem small, it's an incredible opportunity for hackers. 

And it's not just easy-to-guess passwords that leave openings for hackers. Even strong passwords can be cracked if they're reused on more than one site. For example, if you use the same strong password for your bank account as you use for your social media accounts, then hackers don't have to break into your bank account directly in order to get the information they need—they can just look at your social media history instead. 

Of course, remote workers are not the only ones who need to be careful. The study also found that over half of office workers had trouble managing their passwords and recommended that companies use a single sign-on system (SSO) to manage employee passwords to help prevent this problem from occurring. 

Most business owners don't know how much they could lose in a cyber attack 

We've all heard the stories. A major retailer gets hacked, and the company loses millions in revenue. 

It's easy to think, "That would never happen to us." But here's the truth: It could. 

According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 60% of business owners surveyed were so sure their company couldn't be hacked that they didn't even bother to run a cyber security risk assessment. 

If you're one of those business owners, we've got some bad news: You'd better get a partner with a cyber security service provider, pronto. 

You may think your organization is too small to make you a target for cyber attackers. But you're mistaken. And according to recent research, you're not the only one who's wrong. In fact, most business owners have no idea how devastating a cyber attack can be—or that they're even at risk. 

According to a recent report from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), 88% of small businesses are not aware of the risks of cyber-attacks, and 84% don't know what the average cost of an attack is—even though 60% have experienced at least one type of attack. What's more? Only 44% of small businesses have experienced an attack, which means plenty more out there haven't been directly affected yet. 

But even if your business hasn't been hacked yet, it doesn't mean you won't be in the future. And if you're like most businesses, you probably don't know what to do when it happens—and that makes you an easy target for hackers because they know they can keep coming back until they win. 

Awareness training is important to protect your business from threats 

How well do you know your employees? 

As a business owner, it's essential to rely on your employees. They're a critical part of your team, and you trust them to uphold the values and standards of your business. You even trust them with a lot of your personal information. 

So why aren't you trusting them with the security of your business? 

Think about it: We live in an age where cybercrime is at an all-time high, and it will only worsen. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated by the day, so it's time to make sure that everyone on your team—including yourself—is aware of the threat, knows how to handle it, and is prepared for any situation. 

Cyber security is more important than ever, as nearly half of all businesses have been affected by breaches in the last year. Threats can come from anywhere and be advanced enough to evade detection—if you don't think you're vulnerable, you probably already are. 

The only way to protect yourself is through awareness training for all employees. The more your employees know about what cyber security threats exist and what they look like, the better equipped they'll be to identify and stop them before they can wreak havoc on your business. 

Awareness training is crucial for companies with larger workforces or multiple locations. Without consistent training for all employees across the board, it's easy for small gaps to appear in your defenses—gaps that hackers and other malicious parties will exploit. 

Email phishing and hacking are two of the most common methods of cyber attacks 

It's easy to think that when it comes to data breaches, it's the big companies like Facebook and Equifax that get hit the hardest. But it's actually small businesses that are most at risk for cyber attacks. 

Take phishing emails, for example: The average cost to a small business of a successful phishing attack is $1.6 million—that's more than twenty times the cost to a large enterprise. And hacking is just as bad: In 2021, 43% of all cyber attacks were aimed at small businesses with less than 250 employees. 

Why are these numbers so high? The simple answer is that small businesses don't prioritize their cyber security. They also know that you're vulnerable if you don't have the right security measures in place, and they're ready to take advantage of it. But we believe in you and what you're capable of when you feel empowered with the right tools and knowledge—and we're here to help you protect your business from hackers. 

Hackers will only get more sophisticated with their attacks, mostly because their methods work 

The world has changed. 

Have you ever logged into a website and been asked to use your fingerprint or voice to authenticate your identity? This used to be the stuff of science fiction, but it's now a reality. In fact, if you're reading this on an Apple device, you probably do this every single day! 

Our world is becoming more digital. As it does, so do criminals and their methods of attack. No longer will they be limited to stealing credit cards—they can steal identities! They can steal pictures and videos! They can even take down entire businesses with one click. 

And they are. Every day, some cyberattacks target businesses large and small. Some of them are for profit; some are just for fun—but no matter the intention, the result is the same: lasting damage for you, your employees, and your business. 

What's more, hackers are only getting more sophisticated in their methods as time goes by—and as long as those methods continue to work, they'll keep using them. 

By now, you're probably well aware of the most common ways hackers can get into secure systems: Phishing emails, SQL injection attacks, and DDoS attacks. 

As these methods become commonplace, one crucial truth is often overlooked: hackers use these tools because they work. 

According to a 2022 report by Verizon's Data Breach team, insiders are responsible for 39% of all data breaches. That means that many of the breaches that occur in a given year are caused by someone on the inside—someone who shouldn't have access to your company's secure systems in the first place.  

And then there's the fact that weak or stolen credentials caused 64% of data breaches. These two factors combined show just how vulnerable organizations are to cyber attacks even as they become more aware of common tactics like phishing scams and malicious SQL injections. 

In other words: Hackers will continue to come up with new ways to attack businesses until organizations realize that simply being aware of the most common methods isn't enough to keep their information secure. 

To summarize

Every year, the number of cyber attacks businesses face increases, and each year, the cost of those attacks skyrockets. 

However, even if your business doesn't have millions of dollars on hand to pay for a data breach, you still need to do what you can to protect yourself from hackers. After all, most businesses don't have millions of dollars on hand—and even if they do, would they rather pay a hacker or invest in their business? This is a question most businesses ask themselves. 

If your security plan is outdated or ineffective, it's time for a change! Contact SSI today to learn how we can help you keep your business safe from hackers.