Let’s first begin by asking ourselves, on a scale between 1 and 10:

  • How devastated would I be if I couldn’t access my work accounts and files for an entire workday?
  • How annoying would it be if my competitors secretly had access to my sensitive client data?
  • How angry would I be if my employees were costing me thousands of dollars a month from loss of productivity?

If you scored yourself at least 15/30 in total or even just felt a bit uneasy while reading those questions, please sit back, relax and read on as I help you better visualize the importance of investing more effort into your cybersecurity within your organization.

My name is Dil (Dilyar Askar) and I am an Account Executive here in Nucleus’ Toronto office. Most business owners I speak with typically have some sort of a “make-shift” cybersecurity plan in place for their business. Why? Well, most often it’s because this topic either seems too overwhelming for them, they don’t “understand the ROI” (Return On Investment) associated with this form of business insurance policy, or it’s because they simply think “It won’t happen to me”. Small to mid-sized business are prime targets for hackers who use social engineering hacking (much more powerful than your typical attacks) because a lot of the time, their cybersecurity strategies are easier to penetrate for a bigger reward. What I like to tell my family members with businesses is, when it comes to protecting your online identity, ignorance is not bliss! Let me ask, you probably have personal insurance of some sort (like electronics, car, or life insurance). Well, why did you feel the need to get it? Is it because the “one-off” unforeseen misfortune can be exponentially more devastating than your small monthly investments? The reality is, as we approach the year 2020, you should have already instilled in your mind that the “security” of your business’ “life” has a direct correlation with the entire strength of your cybersecurity efforts. The seemingly “one-off” technical incidences in business are becoming more prevalent and accumulatively, they are chipping away at your business’ profits. I could throw a lot of stats at you, but this article from a cybersecurity service does a superb job of outlining stats that you should really pay attention to. In essence, be proactive and not reactive when it comes to protecting what’s important to you (like your version of your empire - the business that’s feeding you)!

As you continue to scale, you and your employees could also be the perpetrators who are opening the doors wide open for hackers... just like a “Trojan Horse”. To help, as one of the leading Managed IT Services providers in Toronto and across Canada, we offer a free technical assessment to audit the health of your IT Infrastructure and Security Awareness Training to give you that extra sense of confidence in your technology investments and internet best practices. 

Now, a simple Google News search for “security breach” shows a fresh batch of news on this topic and alarmingly, every week it’s something new with something that you have interacted with. As of this writing, it seems like:

  • My favourite food delivery app’s customer database has been compromised,
  • My go-to credit score checking app seems to be breached and,
  • My phone’s manufacturer is also reporting a breach…

Absolutely wonderful… isn’t it? Emotionally speaking, I wish that I didn’t Google that… maybe taking a blind eye to it will make the problem go away? Yeah, unfortunately not… we must be logical and I’m glad that I’m aware of it! Sure, these are all big companies, but the only difference between those giants and your business is that they are big enough to be on the news and that they can easily recover from them. For most businesses, a simple hack will cripple them, and it’s just a matter of time before you become attractive enough for hackers’ spare time or entertainment pleasures. The point is, the hackers’ thirst for personal gains is rising at alarming rates and they can use the information that they had obtained from the everyday services that we use to hack our work-related accounts. How? Easy, for example,

  • They can use my password that they got from my food delivery app against my work email,
  • Send me phishing emails by pretending to be my credit score checking app,
  • Or even by spoofing my phone number to do a lot of other evil…

You get the idea… Here is a short list of precautionary steps that you should take and share with your team to help prevent any unintentional “Trojan Horse” type of incidences within your business:

  • We cannot emphasize this enough, but always use Two-Factor Authentication! This is a feature in the settings of a lot of websites and apps. It’s an extra layer of identity check to make sure that when you enter your password, it really is you!
  • Never leave your phones and computers unattended and unlocked. Get in the habit of locking them when you’re not using it and set up their auto-lock feature in their settings. On phones, usually pressing the power button once does the trick, pressing the Windows Key and the L key on windows computers locks it and on Macs, you can set-up hot screen zones for locking.
  • Before visiting any website where you enter your information, look for the green padlock icon in the website address bar and check to make sure that the domain name is accurate and not phishy looking (get it? fishy/phishing? Ok, I’ll stop… haha).
  • Make sure you have a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solution, not JUST a backup solution.
  • And to top things off… another shameless plug… please routinely consult with trusted experts like Nucleus to make sure that you are all on the right track!

Thank you very much for reading this article! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can reach me via LinkedIn,  by emailing me, or by calling me at 1-844-301-4357 ex 213. 

‘Till next time!

Dilyar Askar (Dil) | Account Executive