Today’s digital landscape is fraught with security pitfalls. In the pioneer days of the internet, hackers mostly went after digital conquests to gain notoriety or for the thrill of getting past the most advanced security setups of that early digital period. In 2018, however, that hacker mentality has long been replaced by a different ethos.
Cyber criminals now are less likely to take pleasure in simply penetrating your digital security perimeter and taking a look around. If your organization suffers a breach, the consequences are much more dire.
Whether you work for a large, multinational corporation, or run a small business, once a security vulnerability is exploited on your network, all of your data, operations and business processes are at risk for exploitation — be it out-right theft, blackmail, sabotage, etc.
There are some stark numbers out there when it comes to cyber security:
- 61% of organizations worldwide have been impacted by ransomware
- 1 in 6 businesses lose more than 25 man hours following a security breach
- 6 out of 10 small businesses that suffer a cyber attack close their doors within 6 months
Here are a couple more startling statistics: 65% of consumers lose trust in an organization following a security breach, and 31% cut off their relationship with the brand entirely.
Despite the growth in the sophistication and complexity of cyber exploits, and the threat to consumers, many organizations still operate under a “if it ain’t broke…” mentality. If they haven’t been hit with an attack recently, many are happy to roll with the same cyber security protocols they’ve been using for years.
Some may rely on security features embedded in their preferred browsers — Windows Defender, for example — or place their trust in the security features of trusted applications, like WordPress.
To be sure, the less-is-more approach does not work for cyber security. In fact, it’s a good way to lose your customers.
Microsoft, like a number of other providers, offers a complimentary anti-virus, security software. The free Windows Defender is billed as “comprehensive, built-in and ongoing security protection.” However, Microsoft supplements the free version with the more robust Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that consumers have to pay for.
On its own, Windows Defender can stop most viruses and digital threats (it does have to be updated fairly regularly). However, ATP offers “a unified platform for preventative protection, post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response.”
The advanced version of the software speaks to a more sophisticated threat landscape and the need for strategic planning and professional protection.
Many businesses turn to the WordPress platform to build and host their websites — one of the draws being affordability. Of course, the site provides security for their customers, including encryption, firewalls, security monitoring and data backup and recovery. WP also has a team of cyber security professionals on staff “to address potential security risks.”
Nonetheless, the site acknowledges that no means of data exchange is perfectly safe, and that it “can’t guarantee absolute security of your site.”
Indeed, security of WordPress sites is a much–discussed topic — both because nearly 25% of websites run on the open-source platform and due to the prevalence of attacks. In fact, some of the vulnerability of WP is due to its popularity. While the WP security team does all it can to protect users, users themselves (especially those not well-versed in cyber security protocols) are security vulnerabilities as they can (sometimes easily) be targeted for exploitation. A good chunk of WP vulnerabilities are exploited through third-party plug-ins and themes that customers download themselves, a consequence of open-source coding.
For this reason, Beacon offers SITEXPRESS, our own, closed-source website platform.
BITS: Professional Approach to Data Security
It is certainly possible to create and execute an in-house digital threat prevention program on your own. However, if you are short on time, staff, or the required level of expertise, it’s best to trust your data security to a dedicated and professional team. For guidance on your threat prevention efforts, give the experts at BITS a call at 336.365.7703.