Whether it was Putin, China or Chachi, someone has wreaked havoc on the Clinton campaign's servers and, thanks to WikiLeaks, released countless damaging emails, adding to an already freakishly bizarre election.
A different, but equally malicious, cyberattack hit home this past week. The Wall Street Journal said Friday's multiple attacks on American businesses may have been an unintended but nonetheless lethal byproduct of our vulnerability through personal Internet-connected devices.
Still, according to SiteLock, a company that provides comprehensive, cloud-based website security solutions for businesses, only 6 percent of website owners use proactive website monitoring for suspicious activity, and 84 percent don't find out about website attacks until after they've been compromised.
Clearly, entrepreneurs need to identify the suite of tools that makes sense for their business.
Neill Feather, Online Trust Alliance board member, president of SiteLock and client of Peppercomm offers four tips to help you better avoid the risks of a cyberattack:
1.) Watch for changes in performance.
Know the ins and outs of how your website performs. There are clear warning signs that a cyberattack is underway, from slow load speeds to questionable data and obvious spam.
2.) Beware of unchecked complexity. Complexity comes at a price.
Interactive websites that include plugins and links to outside social media accounts can dramatically increase your website's risk of an outside attack. It's important for your site to have a strong user experience but you should be strategic about only using tools and enhancements that are necessary.
3.) Close your cyber borders.
Invest in traditional virus scanning applications and endpoint security, complemented by web-based malware protection, to best protect your organization. These will help protect against outside attacks, monitor for potential breaches, and allow you to respond should one occur. Don't assume one solution will monitor all entry points hackers can exploit.
In fact, a recent report from the Tolly Group confirms that traditional virus scanning applications and endpoint security solutions are not designed to detect or remove web-based cyber threats and malware.
4.) Purge your zombies
Too many small businesses keep data around far longer than needed, or have open accounts that are no longer monitored or utilized. These 'zombie accounts' put organizations at risk and heighten the damage should an infiltration occur by giving hackers more data that can be accessed and exploited. You should regularly review and delete unused accounts and excess data to minimize the damage if a breach occurs.
We entrepreneurs have enough business challenges without having to figure out if a foreign state, home grown-terrorist or even Laverne & Shirley could gain control of our websites. So take heed and follow Feather's tips.