Protect Your Business During National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and Michigan-based Data Protection International (DPI) is encouraging businesses to stand together against cybercrime.

This year’s theme “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” puts an emphasis on personal accountability while stressing the importance of proactively enhancing cybersecurity at home and at work.

“Sixty percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber-attack,” said Michael Johnson, Founder and Managing Partner of DPI.

Small to medium sized businesses have been particularly vulnerable to two types of cyber-attacks:

Phishing:  A form of fraud where a thief impersonates a reputable business or person to gain confidential information

Ransomware: When a computer becomes infected/compromised with ransomware, it begins to encrypt the files so you can’t access them without paying a fee

Because Ransomware is easy to create and deploy, thousands of variations are created every day. It is currently the most prevalent cyber-threat in the world and growing faster than any cyber threat in the history of computing.

“When it comes to Ransomware, you can pay the ransom but you will never recover the time that your business was shut down mitigating and repairing the aftermath of the attack,” Johnson said. “Businesses of every size need to be pro-active, not re-active.”

DPI offers the following tips for keeping your home network or small business safe and secure online:

Fight the Phish: Phishing attacks and scams have thrived since the COVID pandemic began in 2020 and today, phishing attacks account for more than 80 percent of reported security incidents. Be wary of emails, text messages or chat boxes that come from a stranger or someone you were not expecting.

Secure every device in your network: Run antivirus, implement a strong firewall and update every piece of software frequently

Ensure that your I.T. Department knows when you’re traveling: Traveling employees should use VPN when accessing any resources while out on the road

Make frequent backups: Be sure to store backups separately from other systems and know how to restore them. The easiest way to recover from a ransomware attack is to restore data yourself

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