Many called 2021 the year of cybersecurity as network breaches and ransomware attacks soared. In fact, cyberattacks increased 125 percent globally in 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. Not surprisingly, 2022 has shaped up to be much the same.

In today’s increasingly digital world, the amount of data being gathered, utilized, and stored within business operations is astounding. When coupled with the increase in a more remote workforce and procedures, security is not to be taken lightly, especially when considering how attackers have evolved.

What once started as simple viruses making the rounds has become complex and organized operations that quickly pivot with industry trends and practices. Having the proper security measures and protocols should be top of mind for all.

Companies who have experienced attacks of their own have shed light on how easy it can be to fall victim to ransomware. As the U.S. wraps up the observance of October 2022 Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’d like to share a few key truths that companies can use to reduce their exposure as part of LightEdge’s participation in this national education campaign.

#1. Don’t Assume You’re Protected

While cybersecurity and the rise of ransomware attacks have been making headlines, the reality of how easy it is to be exposed is often overlooked. You’d be hard-pressed to find businesses today that don’t have security and data protection factored into their budgets and operations. That being said, it can be very easy to assume that you’re 100% covered all of the time. However, as data continues to become the lifeblood of many business operations, it isn’t enough to implement security practices; there must be consistent maintenance and updating of those practices.

Following an exposure, many company leaders will say they felt they had taken every measure possible and were confident in their security. It was the smallest of windows that ended up leaving them exposed. Something as simple as being a single patch behind to unknowingly logging into an infected device leaves just enough room for attackers to get in. Assuming you are doing enough to be 100% safe is a critical mistake resulting in exposure hidden in your blind spots.

#2. Expect the Unexpected

Speaking of ransom, if there’s one thing you can always count on during an attack, it’s that it will be expensive no matter how you look at it. Even with investments like cybersecurity insurance to reduce the cost of the ransom payment, there are additional costs that catch many people by surprise. It’s important to recognize that there will always be additional costs such as loss in productivity for both your IT team and CFO, third-party vendors focused on your recovery, and interruptions in business while your network is locked down. Even just a day with no available business operations can translate into a significant loss of overall profit. Factor in less quantifiable costs such as loss of trust by your customers, and you can be looking at a sizable final bill.

Expenses aren’t the only surprise for many. The timeline, particularly during the first few hours and days, and how far the effects reach within an organization have caught many off guard. Assessing the situation, establishing a new communication path, and identifying what departments have been affected are just a few priorities during the crucial first hours of an attack.

#3. No one is Immune from Cyberattacks

Companies everywhere are susceptible to cyberattacks. From large corporations to small mom-and-pop shops, no one is truly immune. Particularly when you consider how quickly attackers continue to evolve. Even the most robust IT departments can make minor errors that lead to enormous consequences. It’s essential to understand that even the best IT teams can benefit from bringing outside sources and partners in to evaluate data storage needs to help develop a system that covers both security maintenance and protocols should an attack occur. Having a third party focused on regularly checking patches, running audits, and improving processes can make all the difference in reducing exposure. Not to mention the extra support it can provide should an attack occur.

Cyberattacks are an unfortunate reality that businesses everywhere face, and the threat is only growing as our world becomes increasingly digital. The best way to get ahead of these threats is to never get too comfortable with your security measures and to invest in improving those measures now and be ready for surprises along the way. Understanding where you may be vulnerable and actively increasing your security measures intentionally and strategically makes all the difference in both prevention and recovery.

Expect Top-Notch Ransomware Protection with LightEdge

If you’re looking for a partner to help you evaluate and shore up your IT infrastructure security, LightEdge is an experienced service provider that takes a proactive stance when delivering top security safeguards. Our network is intentionally built to handle mission-critical workloads with the highest standard of security in mind. Click here, if you’d like to learn more about how LightEdge can help you protect your organization with its high-quality, state-of-the-art security measures.