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By Kiara Williams on October 28, 2021 minute read

Scary Cybersecurity Facts (and How to Thwart Attacks)

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Cyber Attacks: Why Can’t We Eradicate Them?

Even the top security expert isn’t able to invent something that thwarts every kind of cyber attack. Because security advancement never stops. And I’m not talking about security tool advancement—I’m talking about the progress in anti-security tactics black hats are using to steal and sell our most sensitive information.

These days, cyber attacks can be initiated via click, open, or even by pressing “play.” How is anyone supposed to stay safe?

“If you’re an everyday computer user, a vulnerability can pose serious security risks because exploit malware can infect a computer through otherwise harmless web browsing activities, such as viewing a website, opening a compromised message, or playing infected media.” 1

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. In this post, I’m going to share several statistics about cybersecurity, malware, cyber attacks—then I’m going to share how your firm can thwart the attacks using technology and … a little common sense.

Cyber Attack Targets and Victims

Who are cyber attackers after? Everyone. The black hats rightly know that the more people targeted, the higher the chances the attack will be a success.

Hackers have adopted the same mentality of an old-school-smile-and-dial-phone salesman: The harder they hit the phones, the more likely it is someone will pick up.

But just because you’re the one they’re calling—doesn’t mean you need to buy what they’re selling. In fact, the onus is on you (in part) not to fall victim to an attack. Keeping yourself informed about security is the best line of defense against cyber threats.

Why? Because human error is still the #1 security threat to businesses. 2

“Human error was a major contributing cause in 95% of all breaches. In other words, had human error not been a factor, the chances are that 19 out of 20 breaches analyzed in the study would not have happened at all.” 2

Here are some cybersecurity tips that you can adopt into your routine today.

  1. Keep passwords secret; keep accounts safe. “Set up a separate account for each user (including any contractors needing access) and require that strong, unique passwords be used for each account.” 5
  2. Don’t install programs unless you have explicit approval to do so. 5
  3. Threats also come in the form of natural disasters. And if the power suddenly goes out, you don’t want your infrastructure zapped; check to make sure “computers and critical network devices are plugged into a UPS” and “plug less sensitive electronics into surge protectors.” 5
  4. Report sketchy-seeming emails (using Outlook’s “Phish Alert” button.) Is the email addressed to just you or to everyone at your company? Is the email asking you to review something you wouldn’t normally review? Is there a sense of urgency? A financial component? Something attached or linked? Report it. And if you know the person being impersonated, give them a call to make sure they know their email may have been compromised.

Cybersecurity Challenges (and Costly Outcomes)

Getting secure isn’t a one-and-done task.

It’s up to you, me and all employees to stay informed about cyber threats. It’s up to a business—no matter the size of that business—to mitigate the attack risk by deploying antivirus, anti-malware, multifactor authentication, among other safeguards. Setting up security programs and policies will lessen the chances of employees even seeing a malicious email.

The alternative to prioritizing security is becoming a data breach victim. A small investment today could save a business millions tomorrow.

Especially since the average total cost of a data breach in 2021 has increased by the largest margin in seven years. 3

What’s worse? The financial industry is more likely to be targeted because hackers know that CPA firms hold more personal information than a lot of other businesses.

44% of security breaches involve customer PII.3

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): “Information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual … such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or biometric records;” 4

Malicious hackers also know that many of these businesses can’t regularly train staff on the latest attack trends; they also know it’s extremely unlikely that a 15-person firm would have a member dedicated to monitoring cyber threats.

The IRS understands the major risk those handling taxpayer data face (and the costlier outcomes) and has created multiple tools as part of their Security Summit for firms to use to protect client data.

The financial industry average total cost of a data breach is $1.48 million higher than the global average. 2

Get help protecting your small business—find out how.

Why Small Budgets ≠ Small Security

The first and most effective measure for securing your sensitive, business-critical data is to start using the cloud.

Right Networks suite of cloud solutions make applications, software, and data accessible in real-time from any device—plus, we’ve equipped it to recognize and neutralize cyber-threats.

Don’t let these spooky stats keep you up tonight. Schedule an appointment to learn more about the security benefits that our cloud solutions provide firms and businesses today.

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