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Why Are Hackers Targeting IT Providers?

Bryan Badger avatar
Written by Bryan Badger posted on Feb 12, 2019

Cyberattacks are on the rise -- anyone who pays attention to the news is well aware of that -- but did you know that IT providers are being targeted now more than ever? Attacks directed at technology companies who service businesses, government entities, and financial institutions are climbing, and both Homeland Security and the FBI Cyber Division are issuing regular alerts to promote readiness.

Why Are IT Companies Under Siege By Hackers?

1. Direct access to numerous targets

A recent study showed that roughly 64% of businesses and organizations are outsourcing their IT needs. With so many people relying on outsourced IT providers, an immense amount of data is at stake.

Hackers look for the path of least resistance. Rather than focusing on individual businesses, cybercrime actors can breach one IT provider and gain access to multiple customers’ information. This approach becomes even more appealing when you consider how many IT providers have left themselves open to attacks, essentially leaving the door wide open for hackers to exploit their clients en masse.

2. Poor security practices

Even when IT providers protect a client with top-notch cybersecurity solutions, they often fail to address the largest security gap of them all: your staff. The vast majority of cyberattacks still begin with phishing emails -- and it only takes one uneducated employee clicking a malicious link to start a devastating chain reaction.

This is precisely why Integral Networks considers awareness training an essential part of a complete security solution.

3. Monetary gain

Hacking for profit is in many ways a numbers game -- but it's a very lucrative game. Cybercrime is expected to cost organizations $6 trillion by 2021, with much of that damage coming in the form of ransomware attacks. Hackers see IT providers as an easy road to a big payday because they can cast a wide net across numerous businesses in different sectors. Breaching a single IT provider can give a cybercrime actor access to hundreds of companies, which potentially means tens of thousands of chances that someone will fall for their ransomware ploys.

4. Playing on trust

In many cases, the hacker will infiltrate the IT provider and assume their identity to send ransomware emails. When end users are contacted by someone who they believe is their IT provider, they usually don't think twice about doing what is asked of them.

How Do You Guarantee Your Protection?

What's frightening about this recent wave of attacks is that your options for protecting your own business are limited. The onus of defense falls upon your IT provider, which means that choosing the right technology partner is crucial. Look for the following when making your choice:

Your IT provider should...

...protect themselves and their clients with layered security.
...use endpoint monitoring and a 24/7 Security Operation Center to actively find and respond to breaches. train your staff to avoid social engineering attacks.

With the changing landscape of cybercrime, the right IT provider makes all the difference. Integral Networks focuses on building your technology plan on a foundation of security, both inside and out.

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