WOOF! Newsletter

November 10, 2021

The Top 3 "Big Threats" to IT, According to You, and Their Solutions

The survey results are in, and it looks like many of you agreed on the "scariest threats" to your company's IT. Your top fears centered around disaster recovery ability, unauthorized access to your company network, and the risks of using old computer hardware. Here's how to quickly and easily manage those risks so you can enjoy the holidays!


Thank you to everyone who filled out our poll last month, on "" Your feedback is invaluable, in whatever form you choose to share.

We actually had a poll tie for Threat #3 to your company’s IT. So, we'll present both options in this WOOF! issue. We'll call them the "Big Threats."

That many of you picked the same threats makes sense. It's hard to do business at all right now, but having so many persistent threats out there just piles on top.

Luckily, all of these threats DO have solutions. All of them. And they're all within reach of every business.

Let's go through the top 3 threats (and the tie) to clarify why they are such a threat, and how to block or avoid them.


Big Threat #1—Nonexistent or Untested Cloud Backups

"We don’t have cloud backups, OR our cloud backups might not work because we haven’t tested them"

Why is this a Big Threat?

  • An untested backup is better than no backup at all, but a tested backup trumps both.
  • Without verified backups, residing somewhere outside your network, you have no "last line of defense" against cyberattack.
  • Ransomware attack hits? Your business stands a 50/50 chance of collapsing.
  • Which makes this a bigger threat than theft, lawsuits, or fraud.

SOLUTION: Backup everything! Use a local backup solution for quick retrievals, and a cloud backup system to safely house full backups outside your network. Make sure your cloud backup solution has versioning and encryption too.

Ideally, you should mirror those cloud backups to another, geographically-separate location (like the cloud backups PlanetMagpie provides).

PRO TIP: Put daily monitoring on those backups and troubleshoot issues as they come up. Verify backups via test restores of select data once a month, and a complete server recovery test once a year.


Big Threat #2—Data Theft from Current/Former Team Members

"I don't know who's using our network, because we have no IT onboarding/offboarding system"

Why is this a Big Threat?

  • Insider attacks. We wrote about these .
  • Essentially, it's a current or former employee/contractor who knows where your data is...and may still have access to your network. So they go after the data.
  • In 66% of insider-triggered cyberattacks, the insider did more damage than a cyberattack from outside. Is that something you want to allow for?

SOLUTION: While onboarding/offboarding requirements depend on your organization, your offboarding process must always have one element – Deactivation and/or password changes for ALL accounts the former employee used.

PRO TIP: Take extra care with RDS (Remote Desktop Services) access. It's the most-hacked aspect of a network, because managers and techs forget who has access over time.


Big Threat #3—Hackers Breaking In via Older IT Hardware

Tie between:
"Updates not yet run on our network hardware, servers, and workstations"

"IT hardware shortages and delivery delays due to COVID"

These two have a distinct connection, which we'll address in a moment.

"Updates not yet run on our network hardware, servers, and workstations"

Why is this a Big Threat?

  • Each un-run update allows for security holes. Software vulnerabilities pop up all the time, and cybercriminals love to find those vulnerabilities fast – sometimes within 1 day of their discovery!
  • You may have seen the term "zero-day." This refers to cybercriminals creating an exploit – a way to attack a computer's vulnerability – before software vendors create a patch to stop them.
  • According to Palo Alto Networks, 14% of the time.
    • One in every 7 security holes has exploit code out there, waiting to attack it, before anyone's able to seal up that hole.

SOLUTION: Patch management. Use a software application to track when other applications need updates. Then your IT team or consultants make those updates, as fast as safely possible.

This cuts off zero-day exploits and makes your network safer.

"IT hardware shortages and delivery delays due to COVID"

Why is this a Big Threat?

  • It increases the likelihood of cyberattack, from ransomware or DDoS attacks. How?
    • No replacements mean your users keep on using old hardware.
    • Hardware develops issues as it ages - older software, lack of updates, etc.
      • There's the connection to Threat #3!
      • Since software developers stop supporting older versions eventually, ALL computers eventually lose support & develop vulnerabilities.
    • Cybercriminals targeting those same vulnerabilities find your old hardware.
    • Cybercriminals attack your network, using the older hardware as their way in.

SOLUTION: Check over your workstations and servers for the oldest ones. Order replacement hardware ASAP. A lot of IT hardware is on back order and the wait times keep getting longer.

They may not need replacement right now, but hopefully you'll have the hardware on hand when they do. A single ransomware attack costs far more than some extra laptops!


Address the Big Threats in the Same Order, to Keep Your Data Safe

Now that we know solutions to the "Big Threats," how do you implement them?

In the same order of the threats. Secure cloud backups should come first. Fortunately, they only take minimal configuration to set up (and we can handle it all for you).

After that, organize a thorough offboarding process to include all network and cloud account deactivations for separating employees. It's a good idea to audit your current accounts now too, in case you have lingering accounts from former team members still active.

Following that, if you don't already have patch management in place, talk to an IT professional about it.

IT hardware is in short supply right now. If you have a hardware quote from us, don’t sit on it!


Want fast protection from the "Big Threats?" Contact us at .