Best cybersecurity practices can save companies from hackers’ clutches


Gordon Elder III, founder and owner of No Name IT of Dayton

Gordon Elder III, founder and owner of No Name IT of Dayton

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Salisbury likens it to an “arms race” and said attackers have an advantage. They need only find a limited number of places where an organization is vulnerable to intrusion, whereas business owners must focus on all aspects of running the company, including cybersecurity.

Experts are particularly concerned about the recent rise in hacks through third parties, like last year’s attack on Texas-based information technology company SolarWinds. Hackers, believed to be working for Russian intelligence, put malicious code in a software update distributed by SolarWinds to its customers, giving the hackers access to data across a broad range of government and business computer networks.

“The bad guys are going to be coming up with new tricks all the time,” Salisbury said. “The organizations that I think are at greatest risk are small to medium businesses and local governments. They live in the same threat area as larger firms or the federal or state governments but don’t have anything like the resources a large multinational bank might have.”

Cyberattacks and data breaches by the numbers - 2020

Cyberattacks and data breaches by the numbers – 2020

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

JPMorgan Chase bank spends $600 million a year on cybersecurity, according to its April 2019 letter to shareholders. While that is far more than smaller companies need to spend, cybersecurity experts warn that no company should assume all it needs is a firewall and anti-virus software.

“You do have vulnerabilities and you do have data and information that is valuable to these threat actors,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit that tracks publicly reported incidents of compromised personal information and consumer data in the U.S.

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Ransomware attacks disproportionately affect small businesses, according to cybersecurity firm Coveware. Seventy-three percent of ransomware attacks in the first quarter of this year happened to organizations with 1,000 or fewer employees, according to the Connecticut-based company.

In addition to installing protective…

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