A Look at the Michigan Cyberthreat Landscape & How to Protect Your Business
The digital and physical worlds are mirrors of each other; just like our physical world will never be free from crime, the cyber world won’t be either. And while we’ve had hundreds of years to find the best ways to fight physical crimes, everyone’s mostly playing catch-up on the digital ones.
Even though we’re tucked up in the Great Lakes, Michigan is still a prime target for cybercriminals eyeing our abundance of technology resources and businesses. But where there are bad guys, there’s always a superhero ready to swoop in and save the day.
And as the self-proclaimed superheroes of the Internet, our cybersecurity experts at Common Angle are here to let you know which cyberthreats to be on the lookout for and how to combat them.
Michigan vs. Cyberattacks: Who Comes Out on Top?
Our beautiful Great Lakes state has been no stranger to cyberthreats these last few years. According to the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report, Michigan currently ranks eighth for states with the highest number of cybercrime victims. The crime claiming the #1 spot? Phishing.
Last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recorded 800,944 complaints. And while reported incidents decreased by 5 percent from 2021, the potential total loss grew from $6.9 billion in 2021 to more than $10.2 billion. And those are just the crimes that were reported to the FBI; it’s hard to know just how many total records have been exposed and what that cost is.
Some estimate that 22 billion records were exposed in 2021—an incomprehensible amount of names, addresses, and social security numbers that have been accessed by hackers. But it’s not just phishing that you need to worry about; ransomware, malware, and different forms of identity theft are also on the rise in Michigan.
Just in November 2022, schools in Jackson and Hillsdale counties were closed for 3 days due to a ransomware attack. We’re unsure of the full financial damage or if the identities of their students and staff were affected, but with the FBI estimating that ransomware cost businesses in the US over $6.9 billion in 2021, it’s safe to say these schools are still dealing with the repercussions of this attack.
What Cyberthreats Can You Expect to Face in 2023?
Oh phishing, you’ll always be at the top of our list. With human error causing 95% of data breaches, software can only do so much. In 2023, social media will play a huge role in phishing because hackers can use the information available on social media to make their attacks more specific.
Supply Chain Attacks
When a hacker gets into a company’s system by attacking one of the companies you work with, like a third-party vendor, you’re the victim of a supply chain attack. Cybercriminals can get access to your data and cause problems like stealing records or deleting files. It’s crucial to vet all your vendors and follow cybersecurity best practices to combat potential supply chain attacks.
35% of companies are already using some sort of AI, and 42% are considering it in the upcoming year, which makes AI-related crimes a pot of gold for hackers. Data poisoning is exactly what it sounds like—a cybercriminal will insert false data into your AI system, which makes the output of the system incorrect. Since business owners use this data to make important decisions, data poisoning poses huge risks to anyone reliant on AI.
Applications and Software Vulnerabilities
With most businesses relying heavily on applications and software, cybercriminals will be able to use these vulnerabilities to steal information or create backdoors. They can also use this vulnerability to delete your data or cause disruptions in functionality.
Tips to Protect Your Business from Upcoming Cyberthreats
1. Train your employees
Your employees are your biggest liability when it comes to data security. Regular training on how to recognize and avoid potential threats is your best shot at avoiding the pitfalls of phishing and other cybercrimes.
2. Hire an MSP
You can throw up a bat signal when you’re in the thick of a data breach, but why not call the superheroes now? Managed service providers (MSPs) can help your business create a plan of action to respond to cyberthreats before they become an issue.
3. Back up your data
If the unthinkable happens and your data is compromised, having a backup plan in place can save you from a world of hurt. Make sure that all your files are regularly backed up to protect yourself from ransomware or any other type of malicious attack.
4. Create a business continuity plan
Not having a business continuity plan is like handing hackers your wallet. Having a detailed plan on how to respond in the event of an attack can get you and your employees back up and running quickly. A good BCP should cover what information will be disclosed, who’s responsible for responding, and how communication will take place throughout the crisis.
5. Use effective cybersecurity measures
There are simple ways to protect your data and infrastructure that don’t require an IT degree. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users, requiring strong passwords, and regularly patching software can help you avoid the most common threats.
Fight Cyberthreats with Common Angle’s Heroic IT Support
No matter what type of cyberthreat is looming in 2023, understanding these risks and how to protect against them will help keep your business safe. And for added protection from the good guys, Common Angle is here to save the day.
From in-depth cybersecurity training from the experts to 24/7 monitoring of all your systems, Common Angle is your one-stop shop for data security. Read what other Michigan businesses have to say and schedule a consultation with us to see if we’d be a good partner for your IT support.