How to Prepare for an Expensive Cybersecurity Incident

Industry experts say: Facing a cybersecurity attack is not a matter of IF, but rather, WHEN. Even minor cybersecurity incidents can have devastating effect on the financial, reputational and operational success of an enterprise.

Cyber criminals are aware that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often have a small security budget and can be easy targets. Low grade hackers and bad actors have a much greater chance of successfully infiltrating an organization with low-funded security solutions and minimal resources.

Data breaches can impact a company’s reputation in a multitude of ways — negative word of mouth conversation, damage to customer loyalty and trust, preference for competitor services and a loss of business, not to mention bad press and amplification through online chatter.

Large and small businesses alike retain counsel as a best practice when dealing with a cybersecurity incident. While hourly attorney rates vary case-by-case, they tend to be around $650.00 per hour. Legal fees can add up quickly.

It is a known fact that operational downtime faced during a cybersecurity incident will result in financial loss; however, the extent of impact may be a big surprise to SMB customers.

To prepare a business for a cyber incident, their Incident Response Plan should be current and practiced again and again through a Tabletop Exercise, as the possibilities of how things can go wrong are truly endless. If a formal Incident Response Plan is not in place, one should be created as soon as possible. Next, businesses should perform a Gap Analysis to compare their current performance with their desired, expected performance.

The number one compromise method of 2020? Ransomware.

Without viable, air gap backups, you are quite literally putting your business into the hands of cyber criminals.
• Regularly create and test backups.
• Be completely familiar with the backup restoration process.
• Most importantly, ensure that backups are stored off-network and are protected by appropriate security measures, so that bad actors cannot gain access and alter your backups in any way.

The good news? You are not alone.

Engaging a cybersecurity consultant or Managed Cybersecurity partner is a great way to introduce security-specific expertise into your business. Managed Cybersecurity Specialists are often privy to best practices and industry trends of the moment, so they will be able to offer new insight regarding what is currently state-of-the-art in the cyber world.

Cyber-attacks and breaches are costly. While the up-front costs of implementing cybersecurity capabilities seem expensive, they will – in the long run – save your organization a significant amount of money. Proactive, managed cybersecurity investments are imperative for companies that want to thrive in today’s complex and dangerous cyber landscape.

At IDT, we’re here to proactively protect our clients from cyber-attacks and bring them peace of mind. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to our team of experts.

Ransomware On The Rise, It’s Time For A Better Defense

The rise of ransomware attacks across the U.S. has businesses of all sizes on edge, and for good reason. Cybercriminals are becoming more advanced and demanding higher ransom payments from their victims. As the news continues to flood with latest attacks many people are starting to ask themselves, “Is my data at risk? Could my business be next?”

Without a healthy cybersecurity posture in place, it can happen to anyone.

In May, the Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers $4.4 million due to a compromised password. Not long after, JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, was forced to pay $11 million in ransom. Earlier this month, Kaseya, an IT solutions developer, was demanded $70 million to end an attack. These events speak to the importance of prioritizing your cybersecurity.

IDT can enhance the stability of IT systems and provide cybersecurity solutions to fit the most specific business need. “From a cyberattack perspective, our level of support gives clients peace of mind knowing that their systems are constantly being looked at and managed 24/7. We see firsthand how our solutions paired with our ‘whatever it takes approach’ is what’s needed to protect all the sensitive data within a business,” says Robert Bell, Director of Operations at IDT.

Your IT should have a long-term cybersecurity strategy that addresses the challenges of today’s world. Whether you’re at home or in the office, vulnerabilities lurk around every corner. When the rapid shift to remote work hit the onset of pandemic lockdown, IDT put together a plan to support this change called Work Everywhere IT – with cybersecurity being a major component.

Robert continues to say, “When we work everywhere, we have to be secure. We see the major challenge of businesses letting remote employees work on their personal computers that could be infected with botnets and then having them connect back to the HQ network. Cybersecurity policies and the right remote management solution can prevent major disasters.”

What are some other cybersecurity tips you should consider?

1. Automatic Software Updates: Keep your operating systems as current as possible by turning it on for all personal devices. This includes applications on your cell phone; take special care to update anything you use to conduct financial or personal business.

2. Public Wi-Fi: While it can be appealing for business travelers, it is particularly vulnerable to security issues. Don’t use public Wi-Fi without a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It acts as a bulletproof vest for your internet connection.

3. Employee Education: The human firewall is one of the best security tools. Awareness Training can satisfy your compliance requirements and help you stay in the know. Everyone needs to understand the role they play to help combat security breaches.

4. Multi-Factor Authentication: Stop 99.9% of hackers with an additional security layer like MFA. It’s easy to use and the user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to prove it’s really you.

5. Be Careful What You Click: Phishing scams are the most common threat where hackers attempt to trick you into sharing personal information by sending links through email. Be suspicious of any email that is asking you to take some form of personal action.

IDT can help you build a reliable, security-minded workforce. We understand that now more than ever, businesses depend on data to function and survive. With the rise in ransomware, two of the most important investments you can make are 1) ongoing Cybersecurity Awareness Training for your team, and 2) a trusted managed cybersecurity service you and your customers can rely on.

As we continue through these summer months and enjoy a boost of relaxation, we must be mindful that cybercriminals never rest. We want you to be able to let guard down at the beach or by the pool knowing that IDT is always alert and attentive when it comes to your security. If you’re ready to take the next step in protecting your business, let’s schedule a call.

Remote Work Isn’t Going Anywhere. Business is Happening from Everywhere.

Two common telework myths have been busted over the last several months. The first, while the world worked from home, on average employee productivity levels increased. Second, these new remote workers really enjoyed working from home!

In fact, in a recent Harvard Business School survey more than 80% of respondents hoped Work From Home (WFH) would continue after the pandemic. So what does that mean for the future of business and the increasing need for Work Everywhere IT?


Navigating A “Work Everywhere IT” World

There’s no denying that there has been a major technology movement brewing within small to medium sized businesses over the past several years. The digital transformation has quickly become a term that has helped spark innovation and connectivity so much that employees began to ask, “Do we really need to be in the office to get our work done?”

We got our answer during the COVID-19 pandemic.