IT Security: It’s All Fun & Games Until a Garage Hacker Takes You Down

We make a lot of technology suggestions every day. We tell organizations they need to upgrade their servers, switch to a new line of business application, consider a cloud move, or adopt a different phone system. These suggestions sometimes come from engineers who have been sent out on a job, or are the result of recurring Help Desk issues that get escalated. Sometimes they come from our Strategy Manager or our Sales Team. Regardless of the source, our clients typically understand the importance of the suggestion and the impact to their productivity and bottom line. However, there are times when we make suggestions to prospects or complete a network assessment and our recommendations aren’t followed. In most cases, these prospects go about their business and nothing happens. But every once in awhile, these weak networks will be infiltrated and taken down. When this happens, users are unproductive, phone systems go down and the organization loses money. It truly is all fun and games until a garage hacker takes down your entire network. So, what exactly are the technology recommendations you should’ve listened to? Here’s our list of most crucial technology security advice that really shouldn’t be ignored:

  1. You need to upgrade your firewall.
    This year, more than 2/3 of internet traffic will be encrypted. But unfortunately for you, older firewalls don’t have the ability to filter encrypted traffic. This means that as cyber attackers evolve and begin using encryption to hide their malware and viruses, you need a device that’s going to read that traffic and filter out those attempts rather than letting it into your network to exploit your users and infect your network.
  2. You need to train your staff properly.
    From more complex password creation to internet use policies, extensive training guides and classes on how to identify malicious phishing attempts, you nee to make sure that your users are doing what they can to protect your network. Once a network has been compromised, hackers can intercept e-mails, edit recipient groups and control Help Desk e-mails, preventing users and organizations from getting help once they’ve been compromised.
  3. You need a disaster recovery or business continuity strategy.
    So many organizations seriously underestimate the cost of downtime, but when you take the time to really do the math – your business can’t afford a simple backup strategy alone. You need a disaster recovery or business continuity solution that can help you determine recovery point and recovery time objectives so that you minimize downtime if and when your network gets hacked. You can read more about RPO and RTO here.

Wouldn’t you feel so much better if you could truly step back and stop worrying about all the what if’s? The majority of our clients never have to worry about having to explain to their client and customer base that a 14 year old computer nerd was bored one day and took their entire network down. Make sure that you take the advice of the technology experts that are trying to guide you the right way.

Don’t have a technology guide? It might be time to get one.