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Cybersecurity on a Shoestring Budget

Published On 
June 11, 2023

Picture this: Intellihartx, a firm based in Tennessee, specializing in managing patient payment balances and collections, got hit with a major cyberattack. The culprits exploited a vulnerability in Fortra’s GoAnywhere software, a tool that the company uses to transfer large sets of data over the internet. As a result, personal and health-related data of nearly half a million people got swiped, affecting entities across the board from Hatch Bank to the City of Toronto.

This incident underscores the cyber vulnerability of businesses today, large or small. But the reality doesn’t have to be grim. There are simple, cost-effective ways for companies, even small and medium businesses in Calgary, to bolster their cybersecurity.

For starters, let’s dispel a myth: Cybersecurity isn’t exclusively a ‘big company’ problem that requires ‘big company’ resources. In fact, most effective cybersecurity measures are rooted in good old regular maintenance, which doesn’t have to break the bank.

  • Get Your Updates: Think of software updates like tune-ups for your digital Ferrari. They’re essential and often patch up those pesky security holes you didn’t even know you had.
  • Don’t Forget Equipment: Your network equipment like routers and wireless access points also need some TLC. Keep them updated to make sure they’re not your weak link.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords and change them as often as you change your socks. Consider using a password manager to randomize the credentials you use on websites so you aren’t using the same ones on multiple websites. Your accounts’ security will thank you.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: Think of multi-factor authentication (2FA) like a second deadbolt on your front door. It adds another layer of security that makes it twice as hard for cyber miscreants to break in. When one password just isn’t enough, 2FA steps in to confirm it’s really you logging in. So, suit up your accounts with this extra armor and keep the cyber invaders at bay.

Educating employees is another strategy that doesn’t require substantial investment. By teaching your team to recognize potential phishing scams, and to avoid them, you can create a first line of defence that’s remarkably effective.

These are the basics of good cyber hygiene and they’re just as important for small and medium businesses in Calgary as they are for large corporations. They may seem simple, but they’re pivotal in keeping your data secure and your business running.

Cyberattacks like the one on Intellihartx serve as stark reminders that no one is immune. However, by taking proactive steps, companies can safeguard themselves without incurring exorbitant costs. Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

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