Lunch & Learn Recap: Are you prepared? Understanding Cyber Threats and Risks to Your Business

Are you aware on the potential harm cyber threats can have on your business? Do you know how to  actively protect your business against these threats? Are your employees trained in recognizing threats and engineered tactics? Do you know what to do if your business falls victim to a cyber attack?

These are the kind of questions our Lunch & Learn on cyber threats and their risk to your business addressed for local business owners last week. The IT Company had the privilege of hosting Hank Brown, a United States Marine Corps Veteran, for an engaging Lunch and Learn where he tied a connection of explanation between his knowledge of traditional warfare and his expertise of cyberwarfare. Hank immediately caught the attention of our audience with his opening statement, “I am going to talk about cyberwarfare in the context of you.”

Did you miss out on last week’s event? Do you want to further your understanding of these risks for your business? We’ve recapped a few highlights from Hank’s discussion to emphasize the importance and delicacy of this topic.

Presenting to a room full of business leaders and technical professionals, it is rare to share information on best practices against cyber criminals that the audience hasn’t previously heard in some form. The IT Company aimed to provide the audience  with a unique, strong perspective they may not have considered.Hank Brown did just that while explaining that cyberwarfare is more like traditional warfare than you may think. 

The scary truth is- cyber attacks aren’t actions of impulse- they’re thought out, maliciously developed plans to best gain access to your data. Hank drew the comparison for the audience, that much like the battle plans military leaders discuss and map out before an attack, cyber criminals also have a plan of attack before sneaking their way into your business. 

In World War II, The US Military used a method known as “Island Hopping” to work their way through individual islands, to conquer a bigger territory as an end result. Once an island was taken over, the Military would use the newly conquered island as a launching point of attack to then take over another island. In cyberwarfare, we see this tactic used more often than not. 

Take a phishing attack (which still remains the most common method of cyber attack), for example. A user opens a phishing email, unknowingly clicks on a malicious link and then enters credential login information- island conquered. The cyber criminal then uses this as a launching point to further monitor networks, gain further access,  and steal your information. One step at a time, cyber criminals maliciously plot out ways to gain more and more access to your business and confidential information. 

Hank also discussed the issue of confidentiality, integrity and accessibility to your business’ data. The connection and similarity was emphasized by validating the sensitivity of the information your data may hold, while recognizing the availability that the world of technology brings to anything connected to the internet. Hank stated “anything you put on the Internet, you should assume it is public domain.”

After a captivating presentation, Hank was joined by The IT Company’s own Cody Crowell for an open Q&A from the audience, to further discuss potential vulnerabilities businesses may be susceptible to, and what can be done to protect oneself against cyberwarfare.

Hank provided his expertise in advising the audience in what they can do to protect themselves from the risks their company may be prone to. His suggestions in doing so were:

  • To limit the amount of data retained and accessible if it does not have current utility.
  • To avoid connecting devices to public WIFI. 
  • To maintain your system’s health and improve online security by practicing best security tactics and cyber hyenine
  • To limit access points to a network.
  • To enable two-factor authentication.

Treat your network as if it is compromised. The attacker has the advantage. They are always going to find something.”

Hank Brown’s perspective and insight on understanding cyber threats and the risks for your business was truly beneficial and enlightening to the audience. The IT Company was honored to host him, and all of the attendees, for last week’s lunch and learn. We hope that it left the audience and readers, asking themselves if they are prepared for potential cyber attacks that may come their way. 

If you do not feel confident in your company’s security and preparation for these risks, reach out to us at The IT Company. We’d love to answer questions pertaining to this topic, or schedule you a consultation to ensure your security is a priority. 

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