How valuable business data is being stolen and manipulated and what you can do to prevent a catastrophic attack on your cyber assets
While cyber threats and spies seem out of sight, and out of mind, recent news and government-backed research reveals the reality of advanced foreign initiatives aimed at obtaining U.S. information and cutting-edge technologies. Neglecting the potential cyber threats to your business due to a dismissive mindset of “it can’t (or won’t) happen to me” is no longer a viable choice, as it leaves your business susceptible to various security risks.
Ontech Systems is here to provide tangible solutions to help you and your business remain vigilant and protected against these very real threats. Before we get into this hot topic, here’s a deeper look at the recent U.S. Department of Defense Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2023 (PRC) annual report to Congress and why it matters for businesses.
Our Hot Take
The content addressed in the annual report is expansive but imperative, especially when it comes to cyber and data security and intellectual property. The only problem is that many American businesses and even individuals are turning a blind eye to the issue. Why? It could be that it’s easier to think and expect that it won’t happen to you. However, this issue is very real and growing more and more suspicious and heinous daily. Even a small to medium-sized business in Wisconsin, for example, needs to understand these dangers.
When we are informed, we are in power. And better yet, when we use that information to take action, we can hold that power. Our aim is not to create a panic. However, not bringing this to light would be a gross disservice to the businesses and people Ontech Systems, Inc. serves.
So the real question is, what can be done? First, let’s highlight a few important bits of information to better understand how this threat can be mitigated on a smaller scale, i.e. for your business.
What’s the Threat
National security is the top priority of the U.S. Department of Defense, but governments and military entities aren’t the only ones that need to worry about the threats of cybercrime. Industrial and cyberspace espionage and theft are a top concern that translates down to the “little guy.” Many bad actors target small businesses, expanding beyond military and defense to industries such as medical and pharmaceutical, local or regional governments, technology R&D companies, and more, to grow their data. Everyone is fair game and it’s not about what can be obtained from just one business. With a stolen data footprint from multiple businesses across vast industries, a widespread attack would be easily achieved and could do a lot of damage.
According to the DOD report, “The PRC presents a sophisticated, persistent cyber-enabled espionage and attack threat to military and critical infrastructure systems through its efforts to develop, acquire, or gain access to information and advanced technologies.” There’s no longer just a physical conflict, but a virtual, cyber-based issue when it comes to national security and even global affairs.
Cyberattacks can manipulate and control what information is being shared to the public which can lead to engineered friction between virtually anyone. Cyberattacks can also control how resources such as electrical power, fuel, food, water, medical aid, and more are being distributed (or not). Regardless of the attack, the backbone of all of this is data. It can be manually manufactured, or it can be stolen. The latter is proving to be easier.
In addition, any cyber attack on your business data can create a major setback to day-to-day operations and ultimately cost unprepared companies a lot of time and money. Likewise, compromised business data can cause distrust in your customer or client base which can be hard to recover from. With advancing technologies in our world, the consumer is becoming more aware of their privacy, rights, and need for digital protection. Allowing their data to be confiscated can be detrimental to your business’s brand image.
Finally, leaving your business unprotected from cyber threats, both foreign and domestic, can lead to extreme consequences that are costly. Just take recent cyber news into consideration and the millions of dollars forfeited to restore the operating system and retrieve the data. Businesses every day are falling victim to these attacks. It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you, until it does.
What Can Be Done to Prevent & Protect
This issue is obviously a heavy and imposing one. Even so, it needs to be considered by all, governing entities and businesses alike. Small and medium-sized businesses across all industries need to take care to protect their digital assets and data. Cyber threats in our world are very real and very serious.
That’s why Ontech Systems, Inc. offers a complimentary Network Discovery which gives businesses an opportunity to learn about high-risk vulnerabilities within your system. Ontech provides recommendations to strengthen the security of your network from data backups to firewalls, server security, employee cyber security training, managed IT opportunities, and more.
You don’t need to take on this burden alone, nor should you. Ontech experts are keeping a close eye on this evolving concern, and we are ready to help provide the best protection for your business. Let’s connect to devise a plan and keep your business protected.