Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries around the world and there’s a significant reason. According to a special report sponsored by Herjavec Group, it is predicted that “cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021.” Computer hacking is NOT something that is going to decline.

In April, 2017, a CNBC headline declared “Congress addresses cyberwar on small business: 14 million hacked over last 12 months.” I’m not going to address any political stance on what the government is or is not doing to help business regarding cybercrime or hacking, I just want to call your attention to the number: 14 MILLION!

With the growing number of hacks using ransomware, protecting your network and computer systems is imperative. Yes, the big corporations are hit, but so are the small businesses. The ransoms are often demanded in bitcoin payment so tracking and stopping the crooks is virtually impossible. Maybe that will change, but for right now, the best thing you can do is be forewarned and for-armed!

The report on CNBC says that most small-business owners don’t think they are at risk. I can agree with that in my experience, and the other obstacle to safety is the fact that most small business operations do not include an IT person. Owners think they can stay on top of updates and security patches.

Some owners might be tech-savvy enough, and have the time to devote to updating systems and tracking potential problems. But here’s what I usually see:

  1. A hacker creates and sets loose a hack that spreads like a virus.
  2. The big cybersecurity firms like Norton, Wordfence Security and others create a security patch to counter the hack and notify their clients.
  3. Some organizations, like NuMedia Marketing, immediately apply the update to all the accounts we maintain, providing the fastest and most efficient security protection.
  4. Other individual clients might not see it or let it sit in their email inbox for days. And who know what can happen in the meantime.

Often the hacks occur because an update is made available for systems platforms and, if not installed, a big gaping hole is left open for the slime to slink in between the cracks. This often happens when systems are integrated with other systems and plugins, there are tiny leaks in between them that need to be plugged. Once the gaps are identified, the system programmers create a patch – an update – but anyone who doesn’t see or skips the update is left wide open and vulnerable.

How do you protect your system?

Firewalls can be your first line of defense. It is a network security systems designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. A firewall can be implemented individually in software or in hardware, or as a combination in both.

Firewalls can be customized to you network or system and protect both personal and commercial or corporate networks. There are several different techniques used in the application of a firewall and, depending on your needs, can be a complex and highly technical configuration.

Regular digital maintenance is another line of defense that every website owner should consider. Keeping your website updated, in all respects, helps to eliminate holes and gaps that make you vulnerable to the hackers.

For example, when WordPress releases an update, it might break the links to a variety of plugins site owners have used for their ecommerce, communications, and other things. When there is a disconnect, it’s often like leaving the door open. Until that break is uncovered and reconnected, the danger is there. That’s why having an IT professional monitor and review your site and its apps is the best and easiest way to BE SURE you stay protected.

Where can you find help to secure your network?

When was the last time a true IT professional took a look at your site? Don’t leave yourself open to some hacker’s dream or some criminal ready to hijack your data and hold it hostage. Do you have what you need to protect your business? Are you protected with the hardware and software that is effective today? As the bad guys grow more sophisticated, so does the protection you need.

Contact NuMedia Marketing online or by calling 317-563-7235, and let our IT professionals take a look-see at the backside of your website and your system. We know what you face, even if you don’t, and we are right here ready to beat off the attackers.