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September 09, 2016

Like It or Not Your Business Is a Target for Cybercrime

Right now, a massive power struggle is developing across the international public and private sectors for the control of digital information and infrastructure. And many organizations are unwillingly being pulled into the fight.

How much are tensions escalating online? It’s happening at an alarming rate. 

According to TechRepublic, many governments – the U.S. included –are now conducting formal, military-led cyberwar training operations. There is widespread concern is that an actual global Internet-based war could erupt in the future, which would result in large amounts of heavy, concentrated digital “firepower” on targeted networks and infrastructure. 

As of right now, hacks between nation states are still primarily considered acts of vandalism. A hack has yet to spark a massive digital or physical conflict. If things keep going along the current trajectory, though, this could change. Keep in mind that back in 2011, the Pentagon declared that an act of computer sabotage from a foreign country could be considered an act of cyberwar.

Fortunately, the U.S. government has been hard at work bolstering its cyberdefenses. At the recent G20 summit in China, President Obama boldly claimed that U.S. is fully prepared to protect itself online—even more than Russia and other countries.

It’s important to realize, however, that even though no formal cyberwar has been declared, cybercrime is still spreading at an alarming rate. And the government can only do so much to stop targeted attacks from occurring. 

In light of this, it’s a bad idea to sit back and hope that your business stays out of the conflict. Eventually, cybercrime will find your organization. And when it happens, it’s important that you have the resources in place to protect your digital assets. 

So, what should you do to prepare? 

It's vital to identify every connected device in your enterprise – from Internet-enabled coffee pots to desktop computers. If a device has an IP address, it could be a way for a hacker to gain easy access into your corporate network. So have your IT team compile a running list of all devices. Then, get to work fortifying these devices with critical security updates. 

It’s also a good time to talk with your employees about staying safe online. Remind them about the importance of using strong passwords and multifactor security settings. You should also remind your employees about the dangers of clicking on advertisements, installing unknown software updates and opening emails from unknown senders. There are many more fact\ors that your employees need to be aware of, too. For this reason, we recommend hosting a mandatory cybersecurity training session

Remember: Just because your business hasn’t experienced a serious incident yet does not mean that it's in the clear. Hackers could already be inside of your network, waiting for an opportune time to launch a targeted attack. So take this as a call to cyber arms to join the fight and protect your digital information.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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