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While there are many benefits of doing business online, it can also increase your risks of cyber attacks, security threats, and getting scammed. In an increasingly digital world, businesses should take preventative measures to protect themselves.

Cyber attacks can cause serious damage to your business and reputation. Damages can extend to data loss, employee downtime, and high expense to resolve technical issues. Data breaches can result in damage to your business’s reputation, legal liability, and financial losses. 

A single cyber attack can lead to severe outcomes for companies with limited resources. It’s reported that over 60% of small businesses are forced to close down after a single cyber attack.

Cyber attacks have become increasingly common and are expected to continue rising as more businesses move to hybrid work models. It’s important to understand the different types of attacks online and take steps to keep your business information secure. 

We’ve put together this article to help you learn more about the common types of cyber attacks – and how to protect your business. Taking action to protect your company from cyber attacks today can help you avoid them in the future.

Cyber Attack Protection: Highlighting the Top Cyber Attacks From Last Year

Globally, cyber attacks have occurred at increasing rates, targeting businesses, governments, schools, and individuals. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the worst cyber attacks of 2021 so that you can learn how to protect your business from similar attacks today. 

SolarWinds Cyber Attack

In January of 2021, attackers broke into SolarWinds and inserted malware into the company’s Orion software update that was released to over 18,000 customers. After an internal investigation, the SolarWinds CEO revealed that Russian state-sponsored hackers had undetected access to their software’s provider network as early as January 2019. 

Microsoft Exchange Cyber Attack

With U.S. businesses still reeling from the SolarWinds attack, Microsoft urged immediate Microsoft Exchange security updates to address a cyber attack that allowed hackers to access the email accounts of at least 30,000 organizations within the nation alone and 250,000 worldwide. 

Brenntag Data Breach

In early May of 2021, Brenntag, a German-based chemical distribution company, was targeted by hackers leading to 150 gigabytes of stolen data from their North American systems. These cyber criminals stole encrypted data and devices through their compromised networks and demanded $7.5 million in bitcoin as ransom. The company paid a little over half of what was demanded. 

How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Many businesses store sensitive data about their employees, customers, and finances. Unfortunately, cyber criminals can be attracted to unprotected data. 

Small businesses are commonly targeted because they lack adequate security protections. Attacks typically include malware, spyware, viruses, and trojans, which allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data from companies that have not prioritized data privacy and security.

Another factor that puts businesses at greater risk is whether they have adopted a hybrid work model, as geographically-dispersed workforces introduce several new vulnerabilities to IT systems. Navigate through this checklist to see if your business has the cyber security solutions needed to keep your network and data protected from hybrid work threats:

Download Checklist

Ready to learn how to protect your business against cyber attacks? Some technology solutions you can begin implementing today include:

Early Warning Detection and Backup / Disaster Recovery Plan

Because both large and small companies manage large amounts of sensitive electronic information and data, taking appropriate cyber attack protection measures is important no matter the size of your business.

Having a plan for restoring electronic data and implementing early warning detection is essential so that threats can be identified and contained quickly. Your disaster recovery plan should be developed to anticipate the loss of:

  • IT equipment rooms which contain computers, climate control, and backup power supplies
  • Hardware such as networks, servers, computers, wireless devices, and peripherals
  • Network connectivity to an ISP
  • Software applications that may include electronic data interchange, mail, and enterprise resource management
  • Data backup and restoration methods

The impact of cyber attacks can lead to hardware failure and major data breaches. Developing a disaster recovery plan before issues occur – and supporting it with a business continuity plan – can prevent significant downtime and financial loss if disaster strikes.

Remote or Onsite Support Services

Because cyber attacks can take many forms, it’s important to have immediate access to expert support services. When security issues occur, support services can respond to identify threats, troubleshoot errors, and quickly implement necessary security fixes.

Many small businesses may lack appropriate IT support, which can lead to an inability to identify and respond to digital threats. This is especially true for those businesses adopting hybrid and remote work models, since knowledgeable, responsive support is needed to troubleshoot technology issues remotely. Having access to a team of IT professionals who provide support services when required – to in-office and hybrid work teams alike – will improve your overall cyber security strategy. 

Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management identifies, evaluates, treats, and reports on security vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure. Implementing vulnerability management with other important security measures can help identify possible threats and reduce their destructive potential, especially if you’ve recently transitioned to a hybrid work environment without testing to uncover potential security gaps first.

It’s essential to identify your company’s security vulnerabilities that might allow cyber criminals to compromise sensitive company data. Vulnerability management should be performed regularly to improve security as your organization grows and changes. 

Security Awareness Training

An essential component of your cyber security strategy should include comprehensive cyber security awareness training to ensure your employees can identify and prevent potential threats. Evaluating and determining security risks are often more involved than implementing security measures. 

Employees are often a company’s first line of defense, and they can contribute in the following ways:

  • Installing essential software updates and patches
  • Using strong passwords
  • Identifying and reporting suspicious activities and emails
  • Recognizing security risks and taking steps to implement security protocols

Timely responses are often crucial to protecting company assets. 

Contact Access One Today

Cyber crime can lead to significant damage and financial loss if proper precautions are not taken. Understanding how to protect your network from cyber attacks now will help ensure your on-site and hybrid work staff have the right safeguards in place to avoid future problems from impacting your company. 

If you want to know more about protecting your business from cyber attacks, schedule a consultation with Access One experts today to improve your cyber security strategy.