According to CNBC News, American businesses lose an average of $200,000 every year to cyber criminals. It is worth noting that only 40% survive a cyberattack whereas, 60% fold within six months after an attack. Per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the common types of cyberattacks include, among others, ransomware, spam and phishing, and password attacks.
Here’s some more in-depth information on this topic.
One of the most common actions that put you at a greater risk for a cyberattack, is using a weak or easy-to-guess password. A recent study found that millions of people use their pets’ names as their passwords. Regardless of the affection, you have for your pet, do not use its name as your password. Cybercriminals often use trial-and-error methods, such as guessing passwords, when attempting to breach accounts. In other words, using common pet names as a password makes your account susceptible to breaches, resulting in loss of data and money. If your business deals with clients’ personal information, such as social security numbers and health records, a data breach that exposes such information can result in multiple lawsuits.
In such attacks, the criminal feeds malicious software into your system, holds you, hostage, by denying access to your files, and asks for ransom in return. A prime example is a school district in Massachusetts that paid a whopping $10,000 bitcoin worth of ransom to cybercriminals after being locked out of the system, according to CBS News. For a business striving to break even, this is such a significant amount of money to lose. Even worse, paying the ransom does not guarantee the release of your system because criminals are usually untrustworthy. While there are different ways a criminal can hack your account, guessing your password is one of the easiest ways, making it crucial to have strong passwords.
In case of a cyberattack, you will not be able to conduct normal business operations until you resolve the problem. This could take hours, days or even weeks, depending on the measures you take following the attack. Data breaches can result in lawsuits, which may cost you a lot of money as well as your business reputation. All of this will interrupt your business and in a worst-case scenario, put you out of business. With this in mind, protect your network system by all means possible.
Tips to Prevent Password Attacks
While it is difficult to entirely prevent cyberattacks, you can minimize them by improving your security systems. Cyberattacks have become rampant in Massachusetts, with 1 in every 6 communities being hit by ransomware, as reported by NBC Boston. To minimize password attacks, experts recommend implementing the following safety measures:
- Use three random words such as PizzaHeadWatch
- Avoid common words such as family names, pet names, birthdays, and names of popular TV shows
- Add symbols such as exclamation marks in your passwords
- Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts
- Have a distinct password for your email
- Activate the two-factor authentication process for logins
- Change your passwords regularly
- Train your employees on password protection and data privacy
You can also enhance your general cyber security by updating your systems, evading vulnerable networks such as public WIFI, and avoid clicking on random links.
To keep your business network system safe from such risks, ensure you use strong passwords and enhance the security of your system. Another way to protect your business is by purchasing the right cyber insurance coverage. To discuss the cyber insurance options available for your business, speak to our experts at CAV Insurance Agency or call us on 781-237-4107 today!