- On July 1, 2023
- by: Joe Rudolph
- 5 minutes Read
Imagine getting a video from your boss asking you to transfer them money. Would you do it?
This scenario may sound farfetched, but bad actors are using techniques just like this today! And no matter the size of your business, your employees could be at risk of such a convincing trap. With deepfake technology making phishing attacks more sophisticated, AI, and new types of promotional scams, IT security for Pittsburgh businesses (and those beyond!) is becoming vital.
Cybersecurity is not just a thing for large businesses, either. Organizations with fewer than 500 employees were hit by 70% of cyber attacks in 2021 alone. Bad actors have realized that smaller businesses are prime targets because they often have not invested in or have basic security measures.
But there are ways to combat bad actors that don’t break the bank. Armed with the knowledge of the latest IT trends, the quality of your security posture, and best practices, you’ll be in a prime position to avoid incidents and scams.
Let’s start with the key elements of IT security Pittsburgh leaders might not be too familiar with.
Risks in IT Security: What Pittsburgh Businesses Face
Pittsburgh businesses, like all others, must be especially vigilant given the increasingly digital nature of the world. A single successful attack can cause extensive damage, including the potential loss of sensitive customer data, financial hardship, and damage to your reputation.
Wish you had a guide to walk you through modern risks and what you can do about them? Check out our free cybersecurity handbook today!
Let’s get you up to speed on some of the most prevalent cybersecurity risks:
Malware is malicious software that can infiltrate and cause harm to your system without your knowledge. Viruses, worms, and spyware can corrupt data, slow down systems, and provide backdoor access to sensitive information.
Ransomware is a specific type of malware that encrypts a victim's files, then demands a ransom to restore access. This can bring business operations to a halt and lead to significant financial losses if the ransom is paid.
Phishing attacks involve attempts to deceive users into revealing sensitive information, typically through fake emails or websites. This can lead to unauthorized access to systems, identity theft, and other losses.
“Cybersecurity is a big concern. We just went through cyber liability insurance which was really challenging. I see the horror stories from the law journals and fraud in title insurance journals. But if you have a good IT partner you don’t have to think about this, they’re coming up with ideas to address your cybersecurity and systems issues. In the past 15 years, IT has become a major component of our business."
-John Prorok, Partner at Maiello Brungo & Maiello, LLP Law Practice, Pittsburgh
How to Evaluate Your Business's IT Security
These threats may seem complex, but if you have an idea of how hackers target organizations like yours, you’ll be in a better position to stop them. And, if you understand where your IT gaps are, you can prepare you and your team before they are targeted.
To evaluate your current IT state, you can:
- Review and assess existing cybersecurity policies (or make them!)
- Audit and test your hardware and software security measures
- Implement data backup systems and disaster recovery plans.
Furthermore, it's important to check whether your employees are well-informed about the types of attacks they can expect, and the business’ cybersecurity best practices.
Tip: If you have Microsoft 365, determine your Microsoft Secure Score to add to your review list.
If you’re experienced in IT, you can perform a vulnerability assessment. This means you would scan your network and systems for known security weaknesses. Once your gaps are identified, you can remediate your cybersecurity risk.
However, if you want some quick projects that won’t take long to implement, here are our Network Account Engineers’ favorite tips:
3 best practices to lower cybersecurity risk:
Implement organization-wide multi-factor authentication (MFA). 55% of businesses haven’t set up multi-factor authentication!
Sign up for routine cybersecurity awareness training. With a reliable IT partner, you don’t have to worry about this, as they will have it covered.
Invest in software, like the cloud, to back up your data. Our team has seen a lot of momentum with businesses leveraging cloud services in Pittsburgh.
Role of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in IT Security
If keeping up with cyber criminals 24/7 in addition to your current workload seems daunting, you have options. An IT Managed Service Provider (IT MSP) can play a critical role to evaluate your IT security. Pittsburgh businesses can partner with a managed service provider to receive helpful, proactive security expertise.
This ‘extension’ of your IT can monitor your networks for unusual activity, deploy advanced security tools, ensure systems are up to date, and respond to any security incidents. MSPs are particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to manage these tasks in-house. For organizations with their own IT, managed IT providers can take the lowest hanging fruit off your IT team's plate to free them up for more critical endeavors.
If you want to quickly navigate Pittsburgh cybersecurity services to see what’s right for your team, check out this article.
Pair IT Security & Pittsburgh Businesses for Success
Given the rising sophistication of cyber threats, it is more important than ever for businesses to understand and mitigate IT security risks. A proactive approach towards IT risk not only safeguards your valuable data, but also strengthens the trust of your organization.
Despite economic uncertainty, 91% of CIOs expect to maintain or increase their tech budget in 2023! This is a testament to the increasing recognition of the role technology, and by extension cybersecurity, plays in today's business world.
Are you ready to strengthen your defenses, educate your team, and create a safer digital environment for businesses in Pittsburgh and beyond?
Then there’s no time to wait.
There’s a reason why we’ve spent three decades guiding our clients on the best way to use technology – we are truly passionate about being IT ‘rock stars.’ Learn more about our cybersecurity services and how we can help your business today!
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