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Today’s hackers are sophisticated and organized

Tillman Hodgson

Often, we think of hackers as loners getting up to mischief in a basement apartment somewhere. We don’t think of them as big business — but they are! Today’s hackers are often part of a large organization with sophisticated means of stealing data from customers and employees of companies big and small. Most insidious are ransomware disguised as software programs and plugins. They work from the inside out, creating backdoors that can rob you of sensitive data for a year or more before they are even detected.

Often, we think of hackers as loners getting up to mischief in a basement apartment somewhere. We don’t think of them as big business — but they are!

Today’s hackers are often part of a large organization with sophisticated means of stealing data from customers and employees of companies big and small. Most insidious are ransomware disguised as software programs and plugins. They work from the inside out, creating backdoors that can rob you of sensitive data for a year or more before they are even detected.

With the use of ChatGPT and other AI developments, it’s easier for hackers to simulate real human communication, fooling users into surrendering sensitive information. Human error plays a large part in causing security breaches that harm businesses. Even the most educated employees and customers can fall victim to malware or phishing emails.

In recent months, you might have had your attempt to shop online at Indigo stymied by a hack, forcing you to wait in long lineups at the store — or give up and shop elsewhere. Your LinkedIn account may have been suspended due to a hacking attempt, denying you a valuable connection with your business contacts. Not only are these disruptive to your experience as a customer or user, they affect your ability to trust these companies with your information. These are just a few examples of large organizations whose reputations and ability to operate have been severely harmed by hackers.

The search for information on LinkedIn being hacked and how to restore accounts has gone up 5000% on Google Trends in the past few months according to Cyberint, indicating that the LinkedIn hack has had a widespread effect on user accounts. There have been numerous complaints online of accounts being suspended for security reasons (or hacked) with no communication between LinkedIn and their affected users, who have gone for lengthy periods without the ability to access their accounts or LinkedIn itself. It’s a case study in the damage hackers can do both to the presence and reputation of a company that functions primarily online.

Not only is it necessary for your business, but cybersecurity is now desired and expected from our customers. In a Harris Poll and Mastercard study conducted in October 2022, 92% of Canadians of 2002 polled felt that companies should spend more to protect consumer data, 82% said they won’t buy from a company they don’t trust to protect their data, and 52% felt that companies should encrypt all consumer data. If we want to get ahead in the marketplace, creating a secure online environment is a lucrative move! Rather than see cybercrime as a threat, recognize the opportunity a good security program represents for your business.

Cybersecurity is necessary for any business operating online today. An assessment or audit of your security setup will show where the holes are in your program, and how to patch them before things go wrong.  You do not want to address your security shortcomings at the same time as trying to resolve a privacy breach!

We can test scenarios related to your company’s needs, and give you a detailed report that will reveal where you need to improve your chain of command, and what actions to take during a breach.

Audits can build confidence in your course of action as well as assisting you in creating a security system that meets ISO standards. Regular audits help you stay on top of changes in your software and workplace practices, and reveal risks before they cause problems. 

Too many business owners prefer to live in a state of denial before they get the rude wake-up call of a breach. An audit afterward can help them see where they went wrong. However, there still remains the work of rebuilding a damaged reputation and restoring lost functions that affect operations. 

Savvy CEOs are recognizing that now, more than ever, it’s vital to maintain a security protocol that evolves with the advancements in cyberhacking. As cybersecurity experts, we can help you address your security needs now and for the future. 

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