Hackers seem to be everywhere these days.

Most of us think of hackers as hoodie wearing loners – sitting in a basement somewhere while wreaking digital havoc upon the world.

Of course, some hackers fit that mold but, it’s basically a stereotype. The reality is more frightening. The lone hacker of yesterday has been replaced by highly sophisticated and organized gangs of cybercriminals. These gangs extort and steal money by spreading ransomware and other malware.

Cybercrime on the Rise

Cybercrime is a 4.5 billion a year industry and growing. The most active cyber gangs are professional, specialized and operate much like a business. Indeed, some gangs are almost as sophisticated in their operations as the businesses they steal from.

Last year alone, millions of people and organizations were victims of ransomware. Millions more were affected by trojans, worms, virus, rootkits, backdoors, spyware and other types of malware.

Just this past June, headlines like these filled the news:

  • Another massive ransomware attack wreaks havoc around the globe. June 28, 2017.
  • Local hospitals, clinics affected by global ransomware attack. June 29, 2017.
  • Pharmaceutical giant rocked by ransomware attack. June 27, 2017.

Given that money is a motive, it’s not surprising that attacks target large companies and organizations. But, no business is immune. Cybercrime does not discriminate. Whether large or small, businesses must take steps to ensure that their networks are protected.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure that your antivirus software is up to date. In order to identify and quarantine threats your software must be updated with the latest definitions on a regular basis.
  • Invest in a business class firewall. A business class firewall provides an added layer of protection by blocking ransomware and other malware before it can enter your system.

Business Class

A business class firewall works in several different ways to protect your network from attack:

  • Blocks incoming and outgoing network traffic based on source or destination.
  • Blocks network traffic based on content. For example, a firewall that is integrated with a virus scanner can prevent files that contain viruses from entering your network. Other firewalls integrate with e-mail services to screen out dangerous e-mail.
  • It’s important to know what your firewall is doing and who tried to break into your network. A robust firewall will report on traffic and other activities.

It’s  time to take computer security seriously. Give us a call to discuss your network security needs and how we can work together to protect your business.