IT security threats are evolving to become increasingly intelligent and dynamic, and data breaches are becoming more prevalent. In 2015, the number of tracked breaches in the U.S. reached 781, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. That’s the second highest amount of breaches recorded in a year since the ITRC began keeping track in 2005. The rise of smarter cyber criminals and rapidly changing threats means that taking a proactive rather than reactive approach is more vital than ever for businesses looking to stay secure.
Current IT Security Threats: The Rise of Ransomware
There are a number of different types of IT security threats out there, from phishing to spyware to RAM scraping. However, one of the biggest types of cyber security threats facing businesses in 2016 is ransomware, a form of malware that cyber criminals increasingly use to hold data hostage. After encrypting a victim’s files with ransomware, the attackers will demand compensation for the decryption key. CryptoLocker is probably the most infamous type of ransomware out there, and businesses still get hit by it.
Becoming the target of ransomware and having to pay the cyber criminals to get clients’ data back can be costly for any organization. For instance, the CryptoWall version 3 threat caused more than $325 million in damages worldwide, according to the Cyber Threat Alliance. Although keeping your anti-malware updated and backing up your data can help, hackers have become smarter and IT security threats are becoming more dynamic, which makes them harder to fend off with a standard anti-virus and firewall solution.
The Impact of Security Threats: Questions to Consider
Being reactive rather than proactive when it comes to IT security could lead to various negative consequences for your business. Here are just a few questions you should consider about the potential effects of using a reactive approach:
-If your business cannot access data, how much does that cost you per hour in the form of lost productivity? The average total cost per minute of an unplanned data center outage is $8,851, according to the 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages report from Emerson Power Network and the Ponemon Institute.
-How will not being able to access your data affect your clients and prospects?
-How much will it cost you to pay an outsourced IT firm to come in and clean up the environment?
-Will any of the data be compromised and will trade secrets be taken?
-Is any of the information considered personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), or financial in nature (i.e., PCI, GLBA, etc.)? If so, a data breach could have regulatory consequences for your organization.
-How many hours, days or months will it take your business bounce back from this? 61 percent of small to midsize businesses say the recovery time objective for mission-critical applications must be four hours or less, according to the International Data Corporation.
At Stratosphere Networks, we have been working with clients to provide proactive IT security measures in order to help them take charge in the fight against more intelligent hackers and dynamic threats. How important is IT security to you, and will you be proactive or reactive to your next IT security threat?
To learn more about proactive IT security, contact us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.