• GUEST BLOG: Avoiding downtime in the throes of digital transformation

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    Adopting new technologies can certainly bring about an exciting transformation for any business. As well as streamlining operations, business can be rewarded with an elevation in productivity and uplift in bottom lines.

    But did you know that upgrading your business technologies runs the risk of increasing your cyber-attack surface? Bearing in mind that cyber-attacks against UK organisations increased in 2019, you can’t afford to put your business at this type of risk. Worst case scenario, a successful attack could lead to a lengthy downtime and spell financial disaster for your organisation.

    You may be more familiar with business downtime coming about through system failures. There’s less awareness of the fact that the activities of hackers and their malicious malware can cripple businesses through long periods of downtime. Business productivity would certainly be hampered and, in severe cases, render your operations impossible. Take Merck for example, who lost $310 million as a result of the Petya ransomware attack due to the halting of its production line. 

    Why not read our guide below and adopt new technologies with confidence, ensuring there is a reduced security threat posed to your business data?

    1. Anti-ransomware solutions can offer increased protection

    With the introduction of GDPR legislation, hackers know that encrypted or stolen data could land a business in hot water with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which could lead to fines in the tens of millions. They’ll use this to their advantage to extort ransom payments out of you. It’s never advisable to pay the cybercriminals, as it’s rare you’ll get your data back. Additionally, hackers will identify your business as a guaranteed pay-out and will continue to target you.

    With ransomware attacks increasing exponentially in recent years, security organisations have created solutions which specifically protect your systems and data from ransomware. Intelligent solutions like Intercept X will prevent ransomware at the point of infiltration. Or, if your business has already fallen victim to this file-encrypting malware, it’ll reverse the damage. You’ll also get access to features like root cause analysis, which identifies how the ransomware got into your business so you can bolster your systems going forward.

    • Implement a business continuity plan to back up your entire IT estate

    If, like many businesses, you host all of your critical resources on one server, an attack or failure on this system could bring your business down. For years, organisations have been backing up their files and data either on physical devices or into the cloud. But now it’s not enough to simply back up data.

    Forward-thinking business continuity and disaster recovery solutions will not only back up your data, but back up your entire IT estate, whether that’s physical, virtual or in the cloud. Say, for example, a key server in your business goes down – that could be due to a malicious attack, an electrical failure or a flood. You can use your business continuity solution to spin up your server virtually and be back up-and-running in no time. Working with a managed IT services partner can help you implement the most suitable solution.

    • Reduce your attack surface by educating your workforce on spotting suspicious content

    Even with the advent of innovative technologies, your biggest attack surface is still your employees. Email is by far the most popular vector to launch a cyber-attack, with an estimated 91% of cyber-attacks starting with an email designed to harvest login credentials (PhishMe research).

    The phishing emails of the 2010s are significantly more targeted and harder to spot than old-school email scams. Hackers are impersonating the business software you use (including purporting to be Microsoft to get your email credentials), your suppliers and even your colleagues, and they’re more convincing than ever.

    Ensuring your staff are not only educated, but continually upskilled in spotting suspicious content, is essential to keeping your business safe. Additionally, you can use tools which simulate phishing attacks to benchmark the existing knowledge amongst your employees and track progress against your training.

    Author Bio:

    Natasha Bougourd is a Lead Applications Writer at TSG, an IT managed services company covering the London area, offering expertise across a range of areas including Office 365, Dynamics 365, document management and business intelligence. 

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