Protecting Yourself in a Chilling Cyberworld

Written by Cheryl Blasnek, One Step’s Implementation Service Director | February 1, 2019


It is getting to be a scary world out there in cyberspace. The news regularly reports on large and small retailers being hacked, breached systems, brute force invasions of computer systems, and personal information for sale or held ransom. Words like cyber security, dark web and cryptomining are becoming a part of our vocabulary.  But what does it all mean? And how does it affect you?

First some facts:

As a retailer, you are the #1 target of hackers. The news is especially bleak for small and medium-size businesses who are the target of 70% of attacks. Unfortunately, the price tag and lost production associated with these hacks drive as many as 60% of small and medium-sized businesses out of business after six months.

For instance, let’s consider just a few vulnerable areas of your business and I promise to give you good news before we are done:

Email is the most likely entry point for attacks. 92% of malware is still delivered by email. Over half of security experts feel targeted phishing through email is the top security danger. So, without proper security measures and training on phishing attacks, your employees could be unwittingly putting your company at risk!

Time is not your friend. A 2017 Cost of Data Breach study done by Ponemon found that infrastructure breaches were not discovered for an average of 191 days. Yes, you read that correctly! Your system could be breached and you won’t know about it for 6 months! And what is happening in that time? Hackers are selling your sensitive information, stealing your identity, or using your stolen information to find more people to hack.

Unsecured passwords give hackers the keys to your kingdom. If your passwords are stolen, hackers have a multitude of ways to compromise your system, your company information, and your personal data.

Well, this sounds very bleak! But, believe it or not, there are things you can do to protect yourself!

Face the facts! Too often, we hear from potential and current customers “We’re too small” or “We’re too big” or “It won’t happen to me.” That kind of thinking won’t help you protect your business. Admit that everyone needs to be security conscious these days.

Take action on the easy things. For instance, one of the fastest ways One Step helps our clients be more secure is to immediately address their password policies. Did you know that 76% of people will use the same or a derivation of the same password for systems they log into? So, if hackers crack one password, they can break into other accounts by using the same or similar passwords. We quickly help a company apply proper password policies and we even provide a secure location for each employee to store their passwords. This and other similar actions can be accomplished very quickly.

Allow managed service professionals to help you. It is sometimes difficult to justify spending money to have others help you protect your network when you haven’t suffered an attack…yet. But consider that hacking remediation generally costs about $200 per name hacked. So, if your customer list of 1,000 customers is breached, it might cost you $200,000 to remediate. Can your business afford that?
Enlisting the aid of a professional helps you understand vulnerabilities you may not be aware of. For instance, when One Step goes onsite to analyze a customer’s environment, we have a checklist of over 100 areas of concern. When we deliver our findings, our customers are amazed at the range of topics we address. They never knew there were so many “breakpoints”!

Finally, think of managed services and cyber security as preventative healthcare. Getting regular tests and medical check-ups, eating a proper diet and exercising won’t prevent you from getting sick. But, it will help. Early detection can often resolve issues before they become problems. In some cases, early detection can prevent significant illnesses and even death.

In much the same way, managed services may not prevent all incidents. But, it will help. Early detection can often resolve issues before they become problems. In some cases, early detection can prevent costly cleanup and outages.

In today’s world, these business steps are as necessary as visiting your doctor regularly, all aimed at keeping your company running smoothly and efficiently.