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Cybersecurity Awareness Month, recognized in October, aims to raise awareness about the dangers of cyberattacks. We believe that every month should be Cybersecurity Awareness Month! This blog lists some common cyber threats and the security controls you can quickly and affordably implement to minimize the chances of becoming a victim.

The reality today is that every business is just one mouse click away from a data breach. A cyberattack from a malicious email, exposed credentials, unpatched software, or a system misconfiguration can result in financial, operational, legal, and reputational impacts that can cause your business to fail.

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Even as attacks have gotten more sophisticated and persistent, cybercriminals still rely on the time-tested weaknesses in human nature and system vulnerabilities to mount many of their attacks. Some of the most successful attacks are low-tech and relatively easy to carry out. They work because organizations fail to implement and effectively manage even the most basic security protocols.

There is good news! It’s never too late to start improving your company’s defenses and implement security measures that can help prevent a breach and improve your ability to survive should you be attacked.

The People Problem

Employees can present a major security challenge to your IT team. Most breaches happen as a result of human error. All it takes is one uninformed employee to click one link or open an attachment and your entire business can be compromised. Create a plan to educate your team on what to watch out for. Implementing automated and managed User Awareness Training has been proven to be effective for reducing the risks.

The Corporate Email Problem

Of course, email can also be considered a people problem, but unfortunately, it is the most popular method hackers use to gain access. Email is often used for delivering malware and ransomware, stealing information, redirecting users to dangerous websites, and tricking recipients into performing fraudulent activities. Email phishing is easy to do, especially if your team is not trained to recognize the warning signs.

Email Security Actions

Install email filtering software at the enterprise level to prevent dangerous emails from reaching your employees, lock out dangerous websites, and significantly lower your risk. It’s transparent to users, affordable, and very effective.

Configure Your Email Server

Most of us don’t have the included security features configured. Properly configuring your email server, even Microsoft O365, can significantly reduce your risks and prevent fraud, phishing attacks, and the theft of sensitive information.

Protect Your Credentials, Identity, and User Privileges

It’s important to use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for every application and user, especially for email and remote access. MFA and good password practices can prevent up to 99% of all account compromises.

Filter Internet Access

An employee clicking on a malicious link in an email, website, or ad can redirect them to a dangerous site without them knowing it. It’s easy to block these redirects or prevent users from accessing prohibited websites with web/DNS filtering. Again, it’s easy, transparent, and affordable.

Old Systems, Software, and Patching

Keeping your software and hardware updated and installing security patches as they are released can help reduce your attack surface. Replacing older systems and managing patching can minimize your risks significantly. Criminals will always seek to leverage vulnerabilities in legacy software and older technology.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Being 100% secure is not possible. Statistically, most businesses will be affected by cybercrime at some time. Having visibility into your environment along with a well-designed incident response plan, keeping your team up to date on current threats, and being educated on how to respond can minimize the operational, financial, and legal impact of a breach.

Creating a well-defined plan detailing what to do, who to call, and what actions to take will minimize the stress, chaos, and time for making critical decisions. This can help protect your data, reduce the costs associated with an attack and keep you compliant.

Many companies don’t have the internal resources to evaluate risks and select, implement and manage effective solutions. Here at ATO, we can design and deliver IT and security solutions to meet your business’ unique needs. Want to learn more? Call us today and let us help you protect your business!



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