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Why Data Protection Is Your Best Defense Against Cybercrime

March 30th, 2017

When talking about data backups - which we are doing a lot of, thanks to the upcoming World Backup Day! - we simply cannot overlook the role that cybercrime plays in the need for business data protection and management. Cybercrime has become an ever-present threat that is costing companies of all sizes worldwide more than $445 billion annually. If you think your company isn’t at risk, think again.

Phishing is common tax scam-1.pngCompanies your size are often easier and more lucrative targets for cybercriminals.

Why?

Because the average SMB isn’t paying as much attention to cybercrime and often doesn’t have the proactive measures in place to properly protect their data or that of their customers.

They're more likely to assume that they just aren't big enough to need to worry about it, or that nothing bad will ever happen to them.

Cybercriminals are real and relentless though, and they are more than happy to take advantage of that vulnerability.

Many look for that unprotected laptop or tablet that’s used both personally and professionally. Others focus their efforts on breaking into the network to hijack credit card numbers or pilfer the passwords of unsuspecting victims.  They use phishing emails that are harder and harder to spot, especially to the uneducated end-user who doesn't even know to be worried about one.  

These guys never sleep, and they never stop.And they are well-represented in the form of Mal, the Contagious Data Loss Gremlin.

Mal, the Contagious Data Loss Grelin

Mal.pngHe’s Mal the Maleficent, the perennial purveyor of disease, the one among the Six Data Loss Gremlins who enjoys mischief for the sheer pleasure of harming others. A trickster and a thief, Mal is unrelenting in his attempts to steal or destroy data.

He employs all manner of deceitful practices to spread infection and gets his cues from the vilest of life forms – the virus. Now using tactful social engineering schemes, now conning unwitting users into spreading his disease, Mal is the reigning king of malware infections like ransomware.

Mal attaches himself to a target hoping it will infect others, making them unintentional accomplices in his dastardly endeavors. Each year, Mal costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars in stolen trade secrets and personal user data. Sometimes he does it for profit, employing ransom tactics, blackmail and outright thievery, and sometimes simply for the evil gratification of tearing down what others build.   

RELATED:  Meet Scratch, The Data Loss Gremlin Who Loves Equipment Failure

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The Real Cost of Data Loss

business_risk-01.pngData loss isn’t something that happens in a vacuum, without any impact on anything else.  The effects – most specfically the costs – are all too real and all too crippling.

A 2015 IDC report estimated that for very small businesses (those with less than 10 employees), data loss costs an average of $8,220/hr.  Small businesses (10-99 employees) see that increase to $10,790/hr, and the cost per hour for mid-sized businesses (100-499 employees) jumps to $25,600.

When your data - or your systems - are inaccesible, your people can't work. You're faced with costly downtime, lost sales, unhappy customers and loss of trust/damage to your reputation.  Sometimes the cost is so crippling that businesses facing these types of losses are never able to recover.

Of course, the costs are the same no matter what the cause, but cybercrime is a big factor that cannot be ignored.  Which is why cyberawareness is a mandatory focus for every business in the modern technology age.

RELATED: Resolve to Get Your Business in Shape This Year

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What's the Cure for Mal (Cybercrime)?

There is some good news.

While not completely preventable, cybercrime risks can be drastically decreased through end-user education and training, good end-point security and modern network security practices. 

But most of all, you can defend against cybercrime through data protection.  Doing so can mean the difference between paying a ransom (and losing time waiting to re-gain access to your files after a ransomware attack) and simpling restoring your files once the malware has been removed.

(An important note here is that the recovery aspect of data protection and management means having an actual plan for how to access and restore your data.  It goes well beyond just backing up your files and then wondering how the heck to get them all back in place in the event of a cyber-attack. Read this recent post for more on that topic.)

Learn the Top 10 cybersecurity mistakes.png

It’s tempting for SMB’s to manage backups themselves in order to save money, but doing so can cause recovery issues down the road.

Whether it’s a missed backup, a skipped software update, a backup that wasn’t properly tested, or lack of a plan to actually access the data you've been backing up, you can be left scrambling at a time when you can least afford to be if your backups aren't monitored, managed and tested on a regular basis.

We strongly encourage you to check with your current provider (if that's already us, don't worry...you're covered!) about the status of your data backups.  It's important that they are tested regularly, and recommended that you adopt a hybrid model that includes cloud backups of at least your business critical data.

If you would like a consultation, request a call and a member of our Account Management team will contact you right away.  Data backups - both network and desktop-level are a standard component of our Managed IT Services plans.  This popular IT solution includes full-time monitoring and testing, as well as state-of-the-art network security that will help to limit cyber attacks.

RELATED:  Understanding the Managed IT Services Model and Why It Works

Tomorrow...Meet Klepto, the Gremlin with Sticky Fingers and Scorch, the Hot Head Who Loves Playing With Fire

Check back tomorrow to meet the final two Data Loss Gremlins...Klepto and Scorch. Or use the button below to subscribe to our blog and you'll receive tomorrow's installment directly via email.

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