By Byron Martin | HFG Trust Connect Magazine - October 2021 | View Article
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, in some ways the timing was a blessing.
Had this situation happened five, even two years ago, businesses wouldn’t have been able to pivot as easily because the technology wasn’t there to support them. Now, the technology is primed and mature. Many businesses quickly adopted cloud services for sustained operations, increased mobility, and far greater collaboration. Microsoft Teams reported in October of 2020 that they had 115 million users, up 475% from November 2019. Forced change ultimately provided positive opportunities and flexibility for many businesses and employees.
What we’ve realized now is that when businesses scrambled to change how they operated with a remote workforce, they didn’t necessarily implement the appropriate cybersecurity measures. The threat actors realized this and took advantage. Cybercrime in 2020 went into hyperdrive and as of 2021 it has become a trillion-dollar industry. These cybercriminal groups or nation states are extremely organized in executing attacks and we expect this to continue to be a growing issue for businesses small and large. Weekly I hear news of local businesses that have been hacked or breached. It’s happening all around us, but all we hear is what’s worthy of big news media.
2021 has already seen two of the most unsettling security breaches to date with the SolarWinds Orion supply chain breach and now the Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability which saw hackers racing to infect as many victims as possible before companies could patch and secure their systems.
Also trending is increased Cyber Extortion. Cybercriminals are now not simply hacking your data and infecting it with ransomware, but they’re also copying your data and threatening to leak the data to force payment. Backups can get you your data back, so hackers are extorting your data for payment.
Cybersecurity is a journey, an ongoing process and constantly changing. There is no need to panic but it can’t be ignored either. The best approach to combat fear and uncertainty with cybersecurity is to have a plan, strategy and make progress on it one step at a time.
By Byron Martin
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