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US Treasury, Commerce Depts. Hacked Through SolarWinds Compromise: How This Affects Your Business

Recent news from the Federal Government is leaving many weary of the growing rise in cyberattacks. Businesses and individuals saw increased cybercrime online throughout 2020 compared to recent years. Now, the US Treasury and Commerce Departments are experiencing high-level data breaches as well. The entry point for the recent hacks, SolarWinds software products, is a popular array of digital solutions many governmental organizations and businesses use on a daily basis. 

This is cause for concern for isn’t just affecting SolarWinds customers. The concern over data breaches is felt by each and every business in America at a time where cybercrime continues to rise. Let’s rundown what the SolarWinds data compromise might have left vulnerable for Government Departments and businesses as well as how these attacks might affect your business in the future.

What is SolarWinds and Who Hacked the Software?

SolarWinds is not a single piece of software; instead, it’s a collection of services, products, and solutions many around the country utilize. Some of the many customers of SolarWinds include institutions like the US Postal Service, Fortune 500 companies like Cisco and Nestle, and even financial organizations like MasterCard and Ameritrade. 

According to a Reuters article, It’s believed at this point that hackers working on behalf of Russia entered the US Treasury and Commerce departments through internal email systems. From here, they were able to launch a high-level attack on SolarWinds customers by tampering with software updates on SolarWinds’ platform for updates, Orion. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is treating all customers of SolarWinds as compromised by the attacks, even if certain companies or organizations aren’t experiencing trouble yet.

For the most recent information from SolarWinds regarding how to protect yourself from this exploit and the required patches – click here.

How Do Software-Based Cyberattacks Take Place?

The hackers, with access to Orion, were able to insert their own unique lines of code to control software updates for the many SolarWinds customers. This tactic essentially granted them access to all data relative to a company’s use of the software. This includes employee and customer accounts, data, and files otherwise kept highly confidential and safe. The antivirus and malware protections SolarWinds uses on their software did not pick up on any potential danger because the changes came manually from SolarWinds itself.

Backdoor entrances to digital platforms like SolarWinds are highly protected, but not as much for those with access to internal portals and log-ins. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the attacks and it’s likely that while only the Treasury and Commerce departments are impacted now, there will be subsequent issues for the many companies and organizations that utilize SolarWinds products and tools. 

All of this has many business owners wondering if they’re protected from similar types of attacks. While SolarWinds had many protections in place, backdoor attacks like this often come from weaknesses in the protections many companies overlook in their access to digital files and applications. Luckily, there are a few things you can look into now to hopefully avoid a similar issue in the future.

What Does a Major Cyberattack Mean for Your Business?

The easiest place to start when investigating the likelihood of your business getting targeted by a cyberattack is to look at your current IT support and services. If you’re currently using a cybersecurity system or tools from a provider, brush up on what services you actually receive and make sure they’re up to your safety standards. If you don’t utilize much of an IT services cybersecurity plan, then it’s time to change that.  Here at IT Vortex, we provide our Security as a Service plan which will provide all of the cybersecurity services your company needs.  

Things like server monitoring help keep eyes on your business’ online activity at all times. These tools help to ensure that if someone accesses your files that are outside of your company, then your IT services provider will know right away. This is a good reminder to always let your cybersecurity provider know when new employees come on board or when others leave. These hard-to-trace histories of who can access your company data and can make investigating a hack a bit tricky. 

Furthermore, IT services providers can help ensure you have the proper firewalls in place. It’s not just about watching who is trying to access your company’s data from the outside. It’s equally important to know if someone internally tries to upload new software or files that might compromise your entire system. These backdoor methods of hacking are much harder to spot from the get-go, and as we saw with the SolarWinds hacks, can be really difficult to solve once they’ve occurred. 

Your business needs every protection it can get to stay safe in 2021 and beyond. Be sure to consider a consultation with a leading cybersecurity services company located in Paramus, NJ ahead of what’s sure to be continued attacks on US companies and organizations. 

 

As you shop for cybersecurity plans in 2021, be sure to consider what a local provider and area business could offer you. Explore our cybersecurity services today!

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