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Targeted Cyberattacks are on the Rise



A sudden rise in cyberattacks

A recent and sudden spike in cyberattacks has local businesses and organizations taking a hard look at cybersecurity solutions. Among the most notable attacks in 2021 are The Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and the very recent attack on Kaseya Software Company that affected over 1500 businesses of all sizes. The aftermath of these attacks was felt throughout the nation and around the world, disrupting supply chains and temporarily closing businesses.

These kinds of attacks, known as ransomware attacks, have increased by 102% in the first 6 months of 2021 according to a report from cybersecurity firm Check Point Software. Ransomware is a tool that allows hackers to gain access and control over critical infrastructure and computer systems. Hackers can then lock systems and/or steal vital data that can be used as leverage for a ransom demand.

The CEO of The Colonial Pipeline admits to paying a ransom of 4.4 million dollars just to resume normal operation. JBS foods paid the equivalent of 11 million dollars because of the “sophistication of the attack,” according to the company. In addition to ransom payments, business closures can also be costly. A Swedish grocery store affected by the Kaseya cyberattack was forced to close 800 locations on Saturday according to Sebastian Elfors, cybersecurity researchers for Yubico. The signs on the doors read, “We have been hit by a large IT disturbance,” it went on to say, “our systems do not work.”

What it means for businesses

Businesses that rely on data or computer systems should immediately make cybersecurity a top priority if a solution is not already in place. The White House issued an open letter on Thursday saying that businesses that “view ransomware as a threat to their core business operations rather than a simple risk of data theft will react and recover more effectively.” It is imperative to consider the devastation an attack can have on a business and to respond before an attack occurs. Keep in mind, the same old anti-virus software that comes loaded on a personal laptop computer will not cut it when it comes to protecting a business.

A multi-layered cybersecurity solution

A tiered, multi-layered approach leveraging different vendors is best. A solid cybersecurity solution should include managed antivirus protection, endpoint detection and response (EDR), Advanced Threat Security, Managed DNS services, firewalls with IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), email security, and ongoing employee training. A managed service provider, like Intechtel, can provide this type of cybersecurity as service. Businesses should also invest in a business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) service as part of a robust cybersecurity solution to help get back up and running WHEN an attack happens. For more information about cybersecurity for business, contact Intechtel to speak with a security expert. 

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