Welcome to the Brave New World of Cyber Warfare.
Gone are the days when software patches (updates) were just for nifty little feature add-ons or updates. Today, a software update notice could mean your whole computer network is suddenly at risk. Dangers include data theft, crippling malware attacks and mischief you may not discover for months or even years.
As with graffiti on your garage door, if you don’t pay attention and clamp down on bad behavior, your problems have likely just begun. Like those who hire a professional security firm to keep thieves out of the warehouse, thousands of CEOs and business owners are now waking up to the fact that it’s imperative to hire a pro when it comes to securing your data network.
Here’s why you need a professional handling this for you:
Speed is of the essence
“If you didn’t update to Version 7.32 within seven hours, you should assume you’ve been hacked.” That’s what software maker, Drupal, told millions of its customers around the world in 2016 when cyber-attacks were not nearly as frequent as they are today.
Once a security breach has been identified, hackers rush in. On “Day Zero,” cybercrooks around the world go after at-risk targets. You’ve got to be quick to patch the gap or else you risk a system compromise. Unless you have the time, knowledge, experience, and toolset to respond instantly, you are far better leaving this to a professional IT firm that you can trust.
It’s not just the big boys they’re after
Sure, the top news stories are about the attacks on companies like Target, Home Depot, and Sony, but your business is just as vulnerable, if not more so. Chances are, you do not have the resources that giant corporations have to manage a data disaster. The statistics are shocking: 60% of small businesses close their doors following a severe data breach. Moreover, that’s a low estimate depending on which recent survey you’ve read. The threat is not confined to giant corporations. Small and medium businesses are being attacked every day, and, unfortunately, your business is no exception.
Dealing with data breaches requires specialized knowledge, skill, and experience
Here are just a few things a competent data guardian must be able to do to protect your systems effectively:
• Review documentation and monitor forums
Sometimes your software vendor doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s critical to check online forums and other communities to see if anyone else is having issues with the new patch before jumping in with both feet.
• Know when to apply a patch immediately and when to wait
Typically, somewhere around 95% of patches work hassle-free. The trick is to spot the 5% that don’t – before installing them. This requires a patch testing framework, identifying unique patching requirements and applying exceptions accordingly.
• Keep options open in case of complications
Once a patch has been applied, if things aren’t working, it’s critical to restore data network to pre-patch functionality, with little downtime as possible. It’s nearly impossible to do if you just set everything to “auto update.” It also means having good backups in place along with a tested and proven recovery process.
Does just thinking about data security give you a headache? We strongly advise that you let us handle this critical part of your business for you under our managed IT services plan. You’ll discover how easy it is to rest assured that your network is secure 24/7. Give us a call at 850.250.3210 or stop by our office at 1330 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL 32401 for more information.