Cyber Attacks: Tips to avoid becoming the next victim, Part 1

Aug 25, 2021

data breachA data breach at Eskenazi Health and the Indiana Department of Public Health in August made headlines and impacted thousands of Hoosiers. These incidents reveal the venerability of organization’s data. As hackers work to stay a step ahead of security systems, what can you do to prevent cyberattacks?

Company size does not matter. Hackers are always lurking and trying to figure out the next scheme to access data and information stored in business systems and personal computers. Around the world, teams of cyber specialists fight virtual attackers daily. Fortune 500 companies continuously tighten user protocols to keep data and information safe. Small- and mid-size business owners along with non-profit leaders are not immune. They too have professionals and partners who help them stay a step ahead of data thieves who are planning the next data breach.

The first line of defense for an organization is understanding how hackers work, what they’re after, and how to prevent them from getting access. Why? Because businesses have a responsibility to protect data stored within their systems. Think employee records, customer information, propriety ideas and more.

If you think it can’t happen to you consider these stats. In 2020, the number of data breaches in the United States totaled 1,001 cases. Over 155.8 million individuals were affected with the accidental revelation of sensitive information due to less-than-adequate information security. Nearly 44% of attacks in 2019 were business related, followed by medical (nearly 36%), banking (7.3%), government (6%) and education (8%).

This has been happening for decades. In 2016, Yahoo announced hackers stole user information in 2013 that was associated with at least one billion accounts. Sony was attacked in 2014 and a trove of hypersensitive internal information was released, including internal emails where executives and movie stars openly talked about and disparaged others.