Increased cyber connectivity brings with it fabulous business opportunities for Fort Lauderdale businesses, but with those growth opportunities come a significantly increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. As Americans become more reliant on modern technology, businesses also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks such as Ransomware attacks, corporate security breaches, spear phishing, and social media fraud. A business’s cybersecurity, created with effective IT support, is just as critical as its banking security in protecting a company’s financial assets.  Proper security is also critical to safeguarding and securing Florida’s shared business cyberspace. So alarming is this growing cyber threat that the United States passed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 to safeguard both business and government infrastructure from these growing threats.

A stealth cyber attack can destroy a Fort Lauderdale business overnight, and that’s what makes selecting a highly skilled IT support company such a critical business decision. In fact, it’s so threatening to companies that 55% of small businesses and 74% of larger small businesses surveyed would pay almost any ransom to protect their data from a Ransomware attack. In fact, 60% of small companies are forced out of business within six months of a large cyber attack.

Ransomware is typically delivered by powerful botnets used to send out millions of malicious emails to randomly targeted victims. In recent years, however, these botnets have evolved to  targeting small and large businesses where bad actors can extract larger sums of money. Most businesses are willing to pay these on-line blackmailers to save their businesses–with good reason. These attacks work because cybercriminals hold valuable data hostage, in effect, holding the business hostage. The more value the data has for an organization, the more they are willing to pay for it.

Spear Fishing and Bit Game Hunting are other popular attack methods. In this case, criminals will research specific employees who handle finances or other critical data and send them emails pretending to be another employee or a legitimate source. The email fabricates a story that asks the employee to click on an attachment that contains malicious code.
Vulnerabilities for attack include networks that aren’t effectively segregated or are not designed to make monitoring them easy (network visibility).  Weak administration passwords are also an all-too-common security threat. A well qualified Fort Lauderdale IT support company can provide training to employees to detect malignant phishing emails, create strong passwords, and follow other important security protocols. If your business isn’t currently protected with a proper security plan and a skilled IT support company, this may be the most important business decision your company can make this year for both your financial security and peace of mind.

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