Could Neglect Cost You Your Business?

Software updates and patches help protect your company’s data. But this critical task is often ignored, put off, or disregarding as an important task.

Just like your health, taking care of your technology infrastructure needs the same proactive care. Some business owners think cybersecurity breaches won’t happen to them – they may think their company is too small, that they are safe because they have an IT person, that they are taking all the precautions they need to be taking, etc. But they are sadly mistaken. Sometimes it’s that one little update that you put off or are unaware of, that brings your
company to a screeching halt.

Software companies are consistently issuing patches and updates to address different issues – such as fixing a specific bug or flaw – which can be critical. Other reasons updates are issued are to improve the applications’ performance, improve the security or to add or change features and benefits.

Software updates and patches help protect your data. It is one of the most important tasks that needs to take place on your network. They need to be installed as soon as they are released. Otherwise, your company could become a victim of a ransomware attack.
Updating your systems help keep hackers out.
Updates patch security flaws.
Updates help your software run efficiently.

Having a patch management system as part of your IT service pays for itself. Think about how much it would cost if your business fell victim to a ransomware attack. Thousands of dollars? Tens of thousands of dollars? The average ransomware paid in 2021 was $170,404 according to Sophos, “State of Ransomware 2021”. According to “2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report”, ransomware increased 105% in 2021. The report further noted that “unpatched vulnerabilities were a factor in more than half of all data breaches and over 60% of those surveyed said they were unaware of vulnerabilities before they were breached.

According to NIST, 20,136 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) were published in 2021. This marks the fifth year in a row that a record number of vulnerabilities have been
discovered, and the first time in history that the number of CVEs has passed the 20,000 mark. Patch management is one way to mitigate your security risks. There are also other ways to help reduce your security exposure and become more proactive in protecting your data. Phishing attacks and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are both areas of concern. Although we don’t hear about them as much, BEC attacks, according to the Internet Complaint Center (IC3),
are the costliest, with 19,369 reports and a total loss of $1.8 billion in 2020 alone.

The Log4j vulnerability became one of the most exploited – with an average of 2.7 million each day in 2021. While SonicWall has released 11 signatures to help safeguard customers against this widespread exploitation, a continuous stream of additional vulnerabilities is expected to be identified for the foreseeable future.

Let’s not ignore the fact that Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks still cause the most financial damage of any attack type, far more than even ransomware. These attacks rely primarily on social engineering. Which is why it’s so important to train your entire company about social engineering, which includes phishing attacks and other means of gathering and using unauthorized information.
44% of these cybersecurity incidents involved a bad actor impersonating a senior executive’s email account with a fake email address

Always keep your guard up and get trained on how to recognize these BEC type of attacks. BEC attacks are big business. And organizations are recognizing the risk. According to Osterman Research’s white paper, sponsored by SonicWall, “How to Deal with Business Email Compromise”, respondents said they “lacked confidence in their existing protection and were unsure about their ability to safeguard funds, obtain help from insurance providers or law enforcement, or prevent these attacks from getting to highly targeted users in the first place.

Did you know there are nearly 20 ransomware attempts every second? Ransomware has risen a mind-blowing 231.7% since 2019. New attackers use horrifying new tactics, such as double extortion and triple extortion. There were also the notable infrastructure attacks in 2021 that gained a lot of media attention. And here again, a lot of these attacks could have been prevented – including the Solar Winds attack in 2020. The Solar Winds attack could have been prevented with better password hygiene. The Colonial Pipeline breach could have been prevented with multi-factor authentication in place.

Don’t neglect these real risks. Don’t delay, don’t procrastinate, and don’t think it won’t happen to you. Consider facing these issues head on and take a proactive approach with protecting your data.
The future will increasingly belong to the proactive.
A proactive defense is the future of cybersecurity.

Proactive organizations understand their network and the threat landscape, and this allows them to adapt and shift just as cybercriminals do. This ability enables them to quickly detect and stop attacks.

Talk to your trusted IT Service Provider about tools and solutions that can help you become more proactive in protecting your data and your business.