Cyber Risk is Business Risk
Just recently, I learned about a local business that experienced a cyber attack. All of the employees were sent home to work from their personal computers because the owner was afraid that using their business systems would make matters worse.
This business owner called and asked me to come over to talk with him about the situation. As I sat in his conference room and discussed what was going on, he was actually being attacked while I was there! Bank accounts and financial information were being compromised real time.
After some discovery, I found out that almost none of the basic security programs and procedures that would be implemented by a professional IT person were in place. The business had outdated equipment, out-of-date anti-virus, out-of-date anti-malware, no firewall updates, shared passwords, no secure login accounts, and sketchy backups.
This company was technically out of business due to a cyber attack.
The reality of the situation is, cyber attacks cannot be 100% blocked. The crooks are always one step ahead, finding new ways to use the vulnerabilities in software and hardware to break in and enter networks. In most cases, however, if you lock all of the virtual doors that you can, you will avoid the majority of attacks.
For as long as I can remember, IT service providers have been preaching about security and the real threats of viruses, hackers and malware. For the most part, business owners, and even IT professionals, have not paid a tremendous amount of attention to these cyber risks for two reasons. First, they think “It won’t happen to me” or second, “Seems like a bunch of scare tactics”.
Well, times have sure changed.
Today, cyber risk is real and so is the business risk that comes with it. I am almost certain that every business owner or executive knows someone that has experienced a significant loss due to cyber attacks of some sort.
Unfortunately, I have seen the situation noted above far more often in the last two years than I have in the past 28 combined. Cyber attacks are real and are a serious business risk. Taking cyber security seriously is no longer optional.
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
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