Ransomware montage header

Network security alert with lock icon superimposed over code and the word virusHighly publicized cyber attacks like the recent ‘WannaCry’ attack that crippled an estimated 200,000 organizations worldwide has brought much-needed attention to the topic of cyber security.

Experts have long decried the lack of knowledge and preparation most small to medium-sized businesses have when it comes to network security.  An article published by ZDNet last September explained that nearly a third of SMBs are unfamiliar with what ransomware is and are not prepared to deal with the threats posed by cyber criminals.

Ransomware is your organization’s silent enemy
What is ransomware and why is it so dangerous for every business, regardless of size or industry? Ransomware is a style of malicious malware that hijacks your computer until a sum of money is paid. Once your system is infected, ransomware can either lock your computers’ screen, or, in the case of crypto-ransomware, can encrypt predetermined files. As simple as this may sound the results are devastating and might leave your business vulnerable to future attacks. A report published by the National Cyber Security Alliance shows that 60% of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses within 6 months of a cyber attack. Unfortunately, once an organization falls victim to a ransomware attack, it is likely they will be hit again and again.

To make matters worse, hackers are experimenting with new techniques, even offering payment platforms to make ransom payments easier and evolved distribution models that threaten to cause crippling damage to targeted organizations.

Ransomware quote by SEC Commissioner Luis A AguilarHow does a Ransomware attack occur?
A misdirected click or a file mistakenly or irresponsibly opened can have devastating consequences and even those of us who are familiar with cyber threats can fall victim. Studies have shown human error to be a major factor in a large percentage of cyber security breaches. Stolen or lost devices, misaddressed emails and even small mistakes made by IT admins can also prove to be catastrophic for small to medium-sized businesses who have fewer resources available to them than their larger counterparts.

Unfortunately, a ransomware attack can also be born from within an organization. As much as we’d all like to trust our employees, it is not unheard of for a malicious team member to be the source of an attack. There can be a whole host of reasons for this but most often it simply comes down to an employee with an ax to grind. Companies must remain vigilant even if they are confident that their employees are not likely to act in a malicious or irresponsible manner. It ultimately all comes down to accountability and visibility!

What can my business do to stay protected?
Before you begin to think about technology, it’s best to start with the basics. There are many simple actions your business can take to be proactive in the fight against cyber criminals. A good place to start is by educating your teams through user awareness programs. Knowledge is power and with education and training you can turn employees into your first line of defense.

Person using 2 devices with security icons superimposedRead below for a sample checklist of cyber security basics:

– Update and maintain complex user passwords
– Maintain a list of all approved devices (and ports utilized) connected to the network
– Keep important files backed up
– Refrain from opening files that appear to be suspicious
– Adopt clear cyber security policies and strategies
– Keep your teams aware of the latest threats

Once the basics are covered, your organization can implement technology that works to enhance your internal cyber security strategies and processes. That’s where iConvergence comes in.

We can work with your organization to develop and implement a strong network security posture as well as ongoing management of these security services designed to improve agility, flexibility and cost effectiveness to meet the next generation needs of information security and compliance programs for your business.

iConvergence and Cisco are here to help
iConvergence and CISCO logosLet us worry about the security of your network so you don’t have to. We are focused on addressing and delivering solutions to help keep your organization secure and operating smoothly. Our Managed Security solutions utilize Cisco Next Generation Firewall technologies and provide multiple, dynamic layers of security in a single solution, protecting your business from spam, viruses and worms, email attacks and fraud. To help protect your business further, iConvergence can also provide secure, cloud-based Compute and Business Continuity solutions which make it possible for your teams to maintain operations during unexpected outages and/or disaster scenarios. As we know, with the unpredictable weather within the Hurricane Alley of the Gulf Coast, this is critical! We are also able to provide email archiving and retrieval capabilities as well as Web protection services to keep your business safe from malware and malicious web infiltration.

iConvergence’s Network Security experience coupled with Cisco’s Security products and solutions provides you with a best-in-class portfolio of solutions designed to span the entire security attack continuum, addressing threats before, during, and after an attack. Cisco’s platform-based solutions solve your specific challenges while smoothly integrating into an overall security system approach. The result is complete protection throughout your entire network. Contact us for a Free Network Security Proof of Value Assessment today.

For your security… And your peace of mind.