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Constant Cyber Dangers of the Digital Age

By Hodgson Consulting & Solutions | August 2, 2019

Breach Alert:

It’s that time of year! Students of all ages are heading back to school, businesses are launching new fall initiatives and technology/computer usage for schools and businesses are kicking up. This is a prime time for cyber criminals to plant seeds and try to infiltrate your systems and databases.

According to the New Haven Register (www.nhregister.com, 2019), the New Haven Public School district was hit by a ransomware attack. According to the districts COO, Mike Pinto, they had restored all critical functions by the same morning that they confirmed the attack. Additionally, he stated that “the district has not paid any sum to hackers. He said the digital security vendors contracted by the city said four or five other school districts in the state were hit with something similar in the same time period.” (New Haven Register, 2019) It is alarming because the school year is only just gearing up to begin and typically ransomware attacks keep attacking until ransoms are paid. It is undetermined at this time the extent of damage or corruption this attack may have caused. However, the New Haven Register and officials reported that last October a neighboring city was also hit with these kinds of attacks and opted to pay a ransom. “West Haven was hit last October and that city paid anonymous perpetrators of a cyberattack $2,000 to unlock 23 servers and restore access to data, officials said at the time. The West Haven ransomware attack disabled 23 on-site servers — although it did not affect off-site backup servers, officials said.” (2019)

As if attacking vulnerabilities within public education systems were not enough, another favorite target for hackers is healthcare facilities. According to Becker’s Hospital Review (www.beckershospitalreview.com, 2019) the “Cancer Treatment Centers of America discovered on June 6 that an employee's email account at its Philadelphia-based Eastern Regional Medical Center was compromised in a phishing attack, according to the HIPAA Journal.” It went on to state that “it’s unclear if the unauthorized third party viewed the emails or took patient information. However, Cancer Treatment Centers of America said the email held the protected health information of 3,904 patients.” (2019) The employee’s email is believed to have been compromised in May, and this attack was not uncovered until June. The medical center is responding by “providing further training to employees to increase awareness on cybersecurity threats. (Becker’s Hospital Review, 2019)

How it Could Affect You:

As disgusting as it may seem to prey on the vulnerabilities of children and cancer patients, hackers don’t care! Where the see a weakness or opening in your databases and systems, is also where they see dollar signs. Leaving yourself open to the attacks and encryptions of cyber hackers places all of your information, future business, and current bank accounts in danger. Keep these things in mind when discussing whether or not you need cyber security protections in place now:

  1. Hackers sit in computer systems, continuously collecting data, until you finally detect them. By then it is nearly impossible to tell exactly how much of your information has been stolen.
  2. Cyber criminals don’t have a sweet spot for children or terminally ill patients. They certainly won’t hesitate to infiltrate and attack the honest business of a hard working entrepreneur like yourself.
  3. The recovery efforts following a data breach or ransomware attack are EXPENSIVE and can be ongoing for long periods of time. It is much more cost efficient to place proper cyber security protections in place up front, so that you are not cyber battling online criminals later.

Hodgson Can Help:

Hodgson has both the knowledge and the services to protect your businesses information and your client’s credentials.

Here at Hodgson Consulting & Solutions, we specialize in securing data and information loss prevention for companies with multiple locations and/or a remote workforce. Contact us to receive a FREE 17-Point Confidential Technology Security Consultation and learn more about our Managed Security Service Plans.

Don’t allow hackers to get a head start into your systems and leave you playing catch in a recovery race where they call the shots! Contact Hodgson today!

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