Despite the best efforts of individuals and businesses alike, cyber security incidents rose sharply in 2018. This, despite increasing awareness of the importance of cyber security. While some recent cyberattacks, like the Facebook attack, proved to be very public and well-known, other attacks often go unnoticed or unreported in mainstream news.

Why is the number of cyber security incidents rising, despite strong efforts from professionals around the world? There are several reasons contributing to this rise, which all businesses should know about. Education is the best tool for increasing prevention of these cyber security incidents.

New Types of Cyber Security Breaches

One of the biggest reasons for an increase in cyber security incidents was cryptocurrency mining malware. Cryptocurrency was not well-known until recently. That all changed in late 2017, when cryptocurrency prices rose to all-time highs. What was once an obscure method for exchanging funds online had suddenly become a popular investment tool for many people, which created a new target for hackers.

Even though cryptocurrency prices dropped steadily throughout 2018, there is still value in these digital currencies. As a result, hackers have developed malware that can use the processing power of victim’s computers to mine cryptocurrency. The funds are sent to the hacker, while the victim may be unaware.

The challenge for individuals and businesses is that malware lowers productivity, slows devices, and can lead to premature device failure.

Cyber Attacks are Big Business

As new types of security breaches are developed and discovered, the potential gains for hackers continue to rise. In the past, many cyber security incidents focused on stealing online banking info and other important pieces of information from individuals. While this was profitable for hackers, it pales in comparison to the scale of some recent cyberattacks targeting businesses.

It is estimated that cyber attacks cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion per year. This is due to the increasing value of these devastating attacks. For example, ransomware can encrypt a company’s important data and hold it ransom until payment is made. Some businesses without proper backup plans end up paying large sums of money to have their data unlocked.

One of the most high profile recent cyber attacks using ransomware involved the city of Atlanta. City services were disrupted, public data was likely accessed, and the final cost had the potential of reaching millions of dollars for the city.

Governments are Getting Involved

When many people think of a hacker, they think of a computer geek sitting in a dark apartment with a bright screen and lines of code flashing past. Of course, those scenes from movies that form our imaginary idea of what a hacker looks like are not always accurate. In fact, many hackers may be sanctioned by foreign governments and even working out of government buildings around the world.

Countries like Russia and China have ramped up cyber attacks against other nations and companies around the world to disrupt operations or glean sensitive information. The United States recently accused China of corporate espionage and alleged that Chinese hackers backed by the government had been accessing and stealing sensitive data from American businesses.

As governments continue to consider cyber attacks as a legitimate form of espionage or warfare, hackers may find that they have greater support and backing to carry out their deeds. This may be one explanation for increased cyber security incidents over the past year.

How to Protect Against All Types of Security Breaches

Perhaps the only good news to come from recent cyber attacks is that awareness and vigilance will continue to increase. Hackers rely on security weaknesses to carry out their attacks and, with proper prevention, many cyber attacks can be stopped.

Education, awareness, and implementation of security best practices can greatly reduce the chances of falling victim to cyber security incidents.

To learn more about cyber attacks and how to keep your data safe, please contact RJ Young today.

Businesses spend countless hours attempting to make their office compliant. Their team researches the best ways to become compliant and how to implement them, but just because they are compliant does not guarantee IT network security. As a business grows and new staff members come on board, employees must be taught about compliance and trained on recommended processes and procedures. Data must always be secure, but with recent cyberthreats, the bare minimum is not sufficient to protect a business – even if they meet compliance standards.

The Advancement of Technology

Cyberthreats have become more advanced and prevalent over the past few years, with the first data breach of 2019 occurring in the first 24 hours of the year according to Computer Business Review. Other large breaches from 2018 included industry giants like Facebook. It is more imperative than ever for businesses to secure their networks, which means exceeding compliance standards. The Chapter President of the Chattanooga chapter of ISSA puts it simply, “being compliant does not mean you are secure.”

There are several cases of businesses, who have networks that meet compliance regulations, falling victim to cyberattacks. A primary cause of this is businesses neglecting to realize the speed at which technology evolving. Though compliance regulations are updated frequently, they are often reactionary and are not updated as frequently as needed for true network security.

Employee Education Is Key

In addition to the proactive measures taken by a company’s IT team, employee education serves as another safeguard for a business’s network. IT professionals should conduct seminars with both new and current employees to educate them on potential threats and how to avoid them. They should also be taught how to keep mobile devices secure and why enforcing security is vital to the health of the organization.

Data breaches are so common now that Experian releases an annual Data Breach Industry Forecast, while the Information Security Media Group was formed to keep the public updated on the latest company breach updates. Staying educated and updated with these tools helps companies avoid putting themselves in situations similar to the breached companies.

Without proper precautions and education, technology can allow massive breaches in security systems to happen quickly via a misdirected email, an unsecured server, or even a disgruntled employee. Failure to have adequate safeguards can create liability for an entire company.

RJ Young’s IT team can help small to enterprise-level businesses achieve true security with IT services ranging from project work to full Managed IT Services. Contact RJ Young or call them at 800-347-1955 to find out more about how they can help protect your business.

RJ Young announced today they had completed the acquisition of Digitec, a privately-owned office equipment dealer, specializing in multi-functional printers, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi. Digitec is a family owned and operated business that has been operating for over 30 years. Primarily a Canon and Ricoh dealer, they serve customers throughout the entire state of Mississippi.

“We are excited to expand our presence in Jackson, MS and further our mission of providing excellence in printing technologies.” President and CEO of RJ Young, Chip Crunk said. “Digitec is an excellent business and has an impressive network of customers. Customers will benefit from the expertise and service for which we are known.”

Employees from Digitec will remain in place to continue their support and service for customer accounts. These employees will join more than 600 RJ Young employees to ensure the continued high expectations of standards in sales and service in Jackson, MS location are met.

At present, RJ Young has 28 sales and service branch locations, as well as two distribution warehouses located in Nashville, Tennessee and in Jackson, Mississippi.

About RJ Young

RJ Young is one of the largest independent office equipment dealers in the country, specializing in document management solutions, managed print services, mobile office solutions, fulfillment services, and office imaging. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, RJ Young has been helping small to enterprise level businesses since 1955 and has over 600 employees in over 28 sales and service locations across eight states. Under the corporate tagline “Your productivity is our mission,” RJ Young helps modern professionals become more successful in their businesses with solutions to securely manage paper and digital information and empowers businesses with leading printing technologies. To learn more about RJ Young, visit https://www.rjyoung.com.