Published: June 1, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
All businesses are, or should be, aware of the hacking risks they face on a daily basis. Perhaps even more important is knowing that the number of enterprise hacks can be drastically reduced with simple additions to a company’s security protocols. In January of this year, Microsoft reported 1.2M hacks to companies using Microsoft systems. This lack of protection means an astonishing 89% of enterprise accounts are open to simple cyberattacks and therefore, only 11% of enterprise makes use of the easy security additions of strong and unique passwords with multifactor authentication (MFA). Considering 65% of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) shut their doors within six months of a cyberattack, the stakes couldn’t be higher for some. Implementing simple password security efforts can make all the difference in the world to an enterprise owner and their employees.
Taking simple, basic precautions to reduce enterprise attacks is clearly better than doing nothing at all. And although Microsoft is currently on the hot seat for allowing failed updates and other vulnerabilities leading to attacks on their system, all businesses should look to protect their data no matter what systems they use. Poor authentication practice is often the key to facilitating these hacks. Using the 1.2M attacks as a guide, the math shows that 0.5% of staff users are vulnerable to attack. That means in a company of 5,000 staff users, 25 could be unknowingly taking the bait…but it only takes one. Doing so opens the door for banking Trojans and other types of malware to enter a system, and for some SMB’s, it could mean the end of their businesses.
Adding MFA to a system is simple and effective. Cybersecurity education for staff that includes the importance of using strong and unique passwords. Adding MFA provides at least one additional layer of security to all who enter a system. Experts believe that if MFA was present during those 1.2M hacks, 80% could have been avoided by using strong passwords and avoiding the password reuse trap. Determined hackers have come up with their own ways of exploiting poor passwords, especially those with no MFA. Currently trending in the cybercrime world is what’s called “password spray” or “replay attacks.” Hackers have long lists of common passwords they continually put into password openings until they get a match–and they often do. Remember, simply adding MFA to strong, unique password use can greatly reduce the vulnerability of hacks to your business. And who couldn’t benefit from that?
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