If you and your employees have been working from home without suffering a cyber-attack, you’re lucky. Hackers have doubled their efforts during COVID-19 as many of our employees are working from home and without the same security measures they enjoy when working in the office. These workers are low-hanging fruit for cyberthugs, because one hacked computer can easily lead to the next step: a breached network. That’s the last thing any business owner needs, and it’s why every business does need a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
Managed IT Services Deliver Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity goes beyond, well beyond, simply installing Norton Antivirus or a similar defensive software package. To stay ahead of cyber attacks, businesses need a managed service provider (MSP) in their corner.
MSPs know cybersecurity cold, and can put multiple defenses in place. They continually update these defenses to keep your network protected against the many ways hackers attack. Here are some of those ways hackers attack:
Email can be an invaluable form of communication. It can also be a portal into our computers for hackers to install:
Viruses: All it takes is an intriguing subject line or a familiar name to get us to open and unwittingly download a virus. Viruses can damage files, delete programs, cause frequent crashes, mess up a hard drive, or simply disrupt a system’s performance--and our productivity. Worst of all, the virus can spread to other systems. Email is one way a virus can get in. Pop-up ads and software downloads are two others.
Ransomware is no longer limited to ruining individuals. This evil software can take down networks unless a huge sum of money is paid. Usually, ransomware gets in when we click on a link or download a file.
Malware: This comes in many unfortunate forms.
Spyware collects data about our online habits and keystrokes (read passwords).
Adware is not necessarily harmful but can drive us crazy with unwanted, constant pop-up ads. Can you say productivity-killer?
Worms typically limit their damage to an individual computer and its files but also exposes personal and financial data.
Phishing is a slick attempt by hackers to obtain sensitive information or data by tricking us. They send an email that appears to come from a familiar or a legitimate company. We then click a link in the email and the damage begins.
Scouting: Hackers set up a program to send out millions of malicious emails hoping to penetrate or compromise a few computers that lack proper security or updates. Once they’re in, anything can happen.
Evil (and Tricky) Ads
We are all used to ads popping up when we visit websites. These ads make it easy for cybercriminals to get us when we click.
Hijacked Ads are legitimate ads a hacker hijacked to embed his own malicious code.
Free Software is tempting but freebies often have spyware or malware that we voluntarily install at the cost of the “free” software.
Other Methods of Cyber Attacks
Home and Public WiFi and unsecured networks are child’s play for cybercriminals. They can find users on a network and attack, or bait them with a seemingly legitimate WiFi network. Whether on a phone or computer, once a user accesses the network, their device, data, identity, and work network can easily be compromised.
APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) is when hackers use multiple means over a sustained period of time to break through a computer’s security. This could take weeks or years.
How can we defend against these attacks, especially when we have a business to run and teams to manage?
Often, we don’t even realize we’re under attack!
The Best Defense: MSPs
The answer is to have a professional IT team in the form of a managed service provider helping you. An MSP, among other important duties, protects your and your employees’ computers and your business’ network.
The MSP can set up a host of cybersecurity defenses because that is exactly what’s needed, from antivirus, anti-ransomware software to firewalls, frequent updates, and a solid, trustworthy VPN for businesses.
Your MSP does not have to be located near you, but they can be. To find an MSP, you can ask peers for recommendations or search online for yourself.
Hackers have many ways to attack. MSPs are your defenders.