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Cybersecurity: How Hackers Hack

Unfortunately, there is no straight path when it comes to cybersecurity. The market currently offers a variety of technology tools to assist data owners in protecting their information. The best strategy for protecting your system is to learn from organizations that have fallen victim to security breaches. If you're a business owner, you need to learn from the mistakes of those before you and properly protect your customers data.

Within the last two years, we’ve seen some large companies fall victim to cyber-attacks. For example, a security breach in Equifax affected more than 147 million customers due to drive-by downloads. With drive-by downloads, a user visits an infected webpage, and malicious code is downloaded without the user even knowing.

This type of attack usually exploits an outdated operating system, app, or browser. Consequently, Equifax became a victim because of their web server. Intruders were allowed to gain access through a portal server, acquire login credentials, and affect 51 additional servers. Sadly, consumer’s data was extracted for 76 days. Unfortunately, this means most Americans were compromised.

New cyber-attacks are happening every day to different organizations regardless of size or industry. The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report categorizes cyber threats into nine groups, with web applications being the most vulnerable. For profitable gains, hackers rely on malware. The data breach investigation reports over 90% of all malware is delivered via email. According to a service announcement issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, domestic and international exposed dollar losses exceed 5 billion. Similarly, USA Today reports phishing attacks have increased by 297% from 2017. It’s clear that the financial gain is quite profitable, and that’s the primary reason attacks are growing.

Not to mention, there's a substantial increase in ransomware, for attacks have spiked within the last few years. Payments to hackers to unlock files increase to $2 billion in 2017. This constituted a 50% increase from 2016. The average payment is about $1000, and fees are typically requested in bitcoin. Many small businesses found their phones and faxes not working in 2018 when they found the old computer they had running the systems had been hacked and held ransom for Bitcoin.

With so many lucrative and successful cyber-attacks, there is a high possibility your organization could end up being a victim. Therefore, it's essential to strengthen your defense strategy and implement a response plan. Cyber-criminals are becoming more innovative an increasingly aggressive as they discover ways to disrupt and profit from your data. Protect yourself today, and don’t allow yourself to become a victim.

If you're a business owner, please consider Cyber Liability Insurance at your next renewal. This type of coverage is extremely affordable and can cover any lawsuits from data-loss events, or even the cost of ransomware to get your systems back up. Reach out to us for more questions.

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