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Data Breach Immunity: Do hackers target Small Business?


Most readers will read the title of this article and ask themselves “why does my small business need to worry about cybersecurity? After all, the data breaches we see on the news are for big-name organizations, so my organization should be safe, right?”

That’s not entirely correct and the results can be devastating.

In fact, cyber attackers target both large and small organizations, perhaps for different motives, but no one organization is immune to hackers. Smaller organizations are often seen as “easy” targets because it is assumed they will not have the in-house expertise to detect an attack, the funding to hire a third-party organization to help prevent or recover from a data breach, or they will be more willing to pay a ransom.

As the threat landscape evolves, new threats are presenting themselves with increasing variety and complexity, resulting in a cybersecurity environment that is hardly ever predictable. For example, often an initial attack is followed by a period of dormancy where an attacker can remain inactive for a period of time. What this could mean is that while the attacker has access on the computer, he or she is remaining inactive on a computer or network so as not to draw attention to him/herself.

After some time, the attacker may decide they have enough information to act. That period could be hours, days, weeks, months or even years. After an unspecified amount of time, the attacker can launch a series of attacks into the environment, infecting other computers in the network, stealing and encrypting data. This is precisely why all computers and systems must be analyzed after an event of this magnitude.

Did you know: In the event your website is compromised and begins serving malware, Google will quickly realize and remove your website from search results. This process effectively removes your placement against any keywords and will drive traffic to your competitors.

  • See Also:

Canada Breach Reporting Law: Effective November 2018

Employees: Your Company’s Greatest Threat

Employees: Your Company’s Greatest Threat: Part 2

Dealing with a data breach takes a lot of effort, resources and expertise to clean up properly in order to allow regular business operations to resume. It is absolutely essential to understand this because it helps to explain the costs that can be involved in recovering from a cyber breach and why cybersecurity experts need to assess and perform due diligence on all computers in a network after a breach.

Proactive measures are always more cost-effective, and the expenses often wane in comparison to the costs experienced post-breach. For this reason, it is essential to perform regular risk assessments and why your organization should have third-party organizations, particularly penetration testers, assist in the identifying vulnerabilities and providing clear recommendations to minimize the likelihood of an incident.

Preparing for cyber incidents begins with accepting that any organization, regardless of size or nature of the business, could be a target. Identifying risk starts with understanding the likelihood of a breach or cyber-attack and considering the total impact if it does occur.

Determining the risk of an event can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’re not aware of the various types of cyber-attacks that could occur. In most cases, conducting a risk assessment is possible; however, it is recommended that your organization considers hiring a third-party organization, particularly penetration testers.

Another name for penetration testers is ethical hackers. Penetration testers provide tremendous value to any organization looking to secure their customer data, financial future and company reputation. Due to the fact that they are faced with cybersecurity issues on a daily basis, it’s not hard to imagine why this is your best option for the long-term sustainability of any organization’s cybersecurity.

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences; so they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. – Steve Jobs

While some organizations may consider it more financially appealing to explore in-house options, one must remember the efficiency and long-term cost-effectiveness of hiring an expert. For the same reasons you likely wouldn’t decide to attempt to rebuild the engine in your car or re-wire the electrical in your home, you probably wouldn’t want to attempt to secure your organization’s assets, and thereby future, on hope or beginners’ luck. The fact remains that the threat landscape is ever-evolving, and industry experts must maintain and advance their skill set in order to stay ahead of the latest attackers.

  • See Also:

Ethical Hackers & Insurance Brokers: An Unlikely Pair

Ethical Hackers & Insurance Brokers: An Unlikely Pair: Part 2

For more information, please review our website and contact us for in-depth information on any of the items discussed here.

Packetlabs Ltd.

Our mission to continually stay on top of current threats and vulnerabilities has helped distinguish our testing from our competitors. Often times, firms will try to commoditize security testing by performing automated testing (VA scans) with little benefit to the client. Our methodology only begins with automated testing. Thereafter, our extensive experience allows us to manually uncover high-risk vulnerabilities which are often missed by conventional testing methodologies.

We mandate training and continually learn and adopt new attack techniques for our clients. We are always digging deeper to uncover vulnerabilities that may have been overlooked. Our mission is to maintain the fact that not one of our clients have been breached by a vulnerability we’ve missed; we take this very seriously.