TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE says relying on older server systems leaves companies of all sizes vulnerable to hackers
Too many companies still fail to treat online security seriously, claims a UK government report, and in many cases only become digitally-engaged after a serious attack hits the business. By then it’s often too late. Those affected by a breach rapidly discover they are out of pocket and more likely than not lost sensitive assets, even trade secrets.
The board further realises, to its commercial dismay, that once the criminals get their cybermitts into a business they can return, at will, to make further demands.
The evidence of a worsening security environment online is plain to see. Encryption specialists Atlas VPN reports volumes of ransomware hitting businesses doubled during 2021, with no let up this year.
As for small businesses, they shouldn’t think that because they operate mainly locally, they can escape being an online target.
Most smart tech nowadays involves going digital and, in the process, endowing a business, irrespective of its size or sector, with a global reach.
Unfortunately, the same goes for the tentacles of online scammers. Yet so many small outfits continue to believe they’re safe. That there’s much bigger fish for the scammers to fry. Who could possibly be interested in one wee outfit? Think again.
Markel Corporation insurers reveal 51% of all cybercrimes impact the small business sector annually. UK-wide losses are expected to top £1 billion.
National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reports that each incident typically costs £5,700. Canny digital practices are needed more than ever, especially as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reports growth is off the agenda for the bulk of its membership as the cost crunch bites deep.
One of the easiest ways to end up a victim is to have an out-of-date server at the heart of your IT. Old servers stop receiving patches and support from their operating systems. For example: such backing for Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 ended in January 2020.
Yet, you’d be surprised how many small businesses still run on such antiquated IT. Also, it doesn’t matter a jot if you keep paying for server support, believing you are safe, especially when an organisation can play safe by installing the likes of Windows Server 2022.
The right web server is absolutely critical to the success of an organisation.
A server employs software and hardware using principally HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to meet the needs of a client base over the World Wide Web.
Website content is connected to the internet displayed through the storing, processing and delivery of webpages to users.
HTTP is supported by SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) used for email, file transfers and storage.
Infections largely enter a firm’s defences through emails and websites. So, server upgrade is a must.
Holding onto aged IT means an entire business remains easy pickings for the cybercriminal.