After two cyberattacks against two large corporations recently, what can Arkansas companies do to protect themselves and their business?
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – We first told you on Tuesday about a cyber attack on the world’s largest meat supplier that halted U.S. operations just weeks after the colonial pipeline closed.
So with two cyberattacks against two big companies, how can you protect yourself or your business?
Daniel Weatherly, director of security services at Mainstream Technologies Inc., said these cyberattacks have gotten worse in the past two years and will not go away any time soon.
“All of our lives are in the cloud, on the Internet, and the bad guys know it and see any easy opportunity to make money,” he said.
According to Weatherly, at the click of a button, two major companies in a span of weeks have been the victims of ransomware attacks disguised as something harmless.
“This happened to people, whether they clicked on an email link or opened a document containing malicious code,” he said.
Weatherly said these things happen more often than we think. On a daily basis, companies large and small have data stolen and are sometimes forced to pay to recover their systems.
“It’s not uncommon. They’re very big companies, but that’s why it’s having an impact on the lives of people like you and me, where it often only affects that company,” he said.
According to Weatherly, there are basic prevention techniques that all companies should do.
First, awareness training for employees to make sure they know what to look for.
Second, systems and software should be updated and corrected weekly.
Other things, such as antivirus programs and services that automatically block bad sites, are also inexpensive solutions.
According to Cara Carlin, with Arkansas Better Business Bureau, small businesses and the average consumer are the main targets of hackers.
“It’s been a major issue for a long time, but there are more and more small businesses moving into the digital space,” he said.
If you become that target, Carlin said the best thing to do is stay calm, disconnect from the Internet, and contact your local IT team and law enforcement immediately.
“It won’t go away any time soon. Informing and doing your due diligence to protect yourself and your business is the best thing we can do right now,” he said.
Weatherly said whether companies should pay for this bailout depends, in his opinion.
He said if your business can survive without paying, don’t pay because it only feeds scammers.
Although, if you have to pay for it so that your business can survive, Weatherly said it is a difficult option.