Rise in Hack Attacks

Huge rise in hack attacks as cyber-criminals target small businesses

Experts say consequences for SMEs that ignore security risks can be disastrous.

Hackers are winning the cyberwar and businesses are all too often simply hoping for the best, according to many security experts. Cybercrime is often under-reported, by both the media and the police, as businesses fear a loss of reputation and credibility. The biggest threat is from organised gangs looking to steal data and IP from companies, which they can then exploit on the black market. The hackers are typically based overseas where authorities are less effective at preventing them. Increasingly, hackers access a company’s network via its staff. Techniques such as “spear-phishing” and “water-holing” have been used to compromise the most advanced and highly technical businesses. In each of these, human error is key to the hackers’ success.

Small businesses should all have anti-virus installed and use it regularly but, more importantly, they should ensure their computer software and browsers are up to date,” says Walker. “Microsoft releases its new patches on a Tuesday, and by Wednesday the hackers have found new ways to get in. It’s absolutely critical that businesses apply available updates.

Often the most neglected server is the Company website where it is common to engage a web developer to create a website, then after the project is complete, no further maintenance or updates of the site are performed making the website extremely vulnerable to hacking. Popular Content Management Systems such as WordPress are extremely vulnerable and security updates are regularly released to patch security flaws.

What should you do?

Most Alliance Business Technologies Support Plans include patching of your Servers. Your website however is not covered. If you do not already have a maintenance agreement with your web developer or have an internal staff member keeping your website secure, it is highly recommended you put this into place.

 

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