We’ve said it time and again: Today’s cybercriminals, hackers and nation state actors are using more advanced technology than ever. And those malicious tools are becoming even more sophisticated at a breakneck pace. To top it all off, new software developments are enabling these criminals, hackers and nation state actors to cast wider and wider nets, targeting businesses that, before, would have flown under their radar. Firms small and large, of every type, are being infiltrated by vicious cyber-attacks across the world each and every day.

Even knowing this, professional services practice managers, partners and directors are tempted to cut costs and corners. When you’ve never had a breach, data security can seem like a distant concern, especially for a limited budget. But regardless of which digital barriers you put in place to protect your firm, you can bet on one thing: One day, your security will be tested by an attack. Whether or not the hackers punch through could mean the difference between your professional services firm shutting down for good — as 60% of small businesses do in the six months following a cyber-attack — and remaining solvent and secure in your position.

Recently, Microsoft announced a software update for their popular email server software Microsoft Exchange. This is the most common email server in use not only in professional services firms but also by businesses across the world today. This particular software bug allowed hackers and nation state actors to break into your email server and leave behind a tool that allowed them access to your professional services firms systems at will. This tool would allow them to gain further access to your firms systems and give them the ability to steal email data. Naturally, this issue is very concerning and could have catastrophic consequences for you and your professional services firm.

It has now been announced this unknown software bug was first discovered end of December 2020 and there are reports it was actively being used by hackers and nation state actors as early as the 3rd  of January 2021.

So how can you protect yourself against this in future? Obviously, you want to work with an IT Services or IT Support company with extensive cyber security experience that implements on going cyber security services to monitor the security of your professional services firm’s IT systems 24x7x365. This must be a multi layered approach across all your IT systems either in house, in the cloud and hybrid systems. The service must also have guaranteed response times and you must know how long the data is going to be retained for.

You may be asking yourself why do I need 24x7x365 security monitoring? Well, these cybercriminals, hackers or nation state actors can be based anywhere in the world. They are also well aware of when you are awake and when you are asleep. They will often attack at night or the early hours of the morning when they know its unlikely anyone is looking at the system.

I know it’s tempting to not do this because of the cost. Naturally, cheapo security solutions might be fine for a lone browser surfing the web at home, but they are shockingly inadequate resources on which to base the entire success of your firm, your livelihood, and the livelihood of your team.

Frankly, it’s irresponsible to lock your data behind a flimsy $500 firewall. Invest in robust cyber security solutions and secure the future of your professional services firm today.

Book a discovery call today to let us show you how we deliver that peace of mind and ensure you either suffer a minor inconvenience or you do not fall victim at all.