Are We Defenseless to Cyber-Attacks?

Information is today’s most valuable asset for any type of company. It is however not rare to find companies which do not have an implemented data security plan.

This year, many of them had to experience the risk firsthand with painful losses – due to loss of production, financial losses and unsatisfied customers.

According to the Europol, the ransomware campaign in 2017 was unprecedented in scale. Alone the WannaCry attack from last May, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, affected more than

230.000 computers in

over 150 countries and

across industries.

Ransomware, as it is called, is a malicious software that locks a device —computer, tablet or smartphone and demands a ransom to unlock it. It hits the device when navigating through various hacked websites, downloading a file or clicking a wrong link. It is commonly thought inside of small companies that it may not be relevant enough to become a victim of a cyber-attack, but every company is interesting. The Europol reports that every 40 seconds, a company gets hit by a ransomware.

Alone in Germany, the costs for damages due to cyberattacks are calculated around 55 billion euros per year. Arne Schönbohm, President of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), stated during the WannaCry attack that

„the current attacks show how vulnerable our digital society is. It’s a wake-up call for companies to finally take IT security seriously“

What can your company do to prevent cyber-attacks?

Regular updates of the operating systems and a certain degree of common sense are the first step to protecting your valuable information:

– Never open email attachments from unknown senders.

– Regularly create backups of all your information and store them in a separate network.

-Separate the production network from the administration network to avoid a complete breakdown in case of an attack.

– Train your employees regularly on the topic of IT security training.

In medium and large enterprises, a well-structured IT department or a reliable IT service providers is indispensable to protect the company´s operations from cyber-attacks.