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How Outdated Equipment Can Increase The Chance Of A Cyberattack

Taylor Maguire
May 5, 2023
This article explains how outdated equipment can be a significant security risk for businesses, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks.
How Outdated Equipment Can Increase The Chance Of A Cyberattack

It's Important To Have Up To Date Technology

In today's digital age, businesses heavily rely on technology, making it challenging to keep up with the latest equipment and software.

Using outdated equipment creates a significant security risk, leaving businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks.

This article will explore the importance of staying updated with technology, the risks of delaying upgrades, steps on reducing the risk of cyberattacks, and how managed service providers (MSPs) can help protect your business from cyber threats.

Having Outdated Equipment Is A Security Risk

Working with outdated equipment can increase the likelihood of a cyberattack. This is because old equipment may lack the necessary security features to protect against modern-day cyber threats. Typically, older equipment will not be up to date with the latest security updates and patches, which ultimately makes it more vulnerable to attacks.

Outdated equipment can also be more susceptible to attacks due to its limited processing power and memory, which can overall impede its ability to run the latest security software effectively. Any businesses using legacy systems may be at a higher risk, as older systems may not have been designed to address modern-day security threats.

In addition, older equipment may not be compatible with current security protocols and standards, making it easier for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities and breach the system. As cyber threats continue to evolve, business owners need to keep their equipment up-to-date with the latest security protocols and updates to lessen the risk of a cyberattack.

Not Being Prepared For A Cyberattack Can Have Consequences

A cyberattack can cause significant damage to a business, both financially and reputationally. Cybercriminals may gain access to sensitive information, including customer data, financial records, and intellectual property, which they can sell on the dark web, resulting in financial losses, legal liabilities, and a tarnished reputation.

Additionally, cyberattacks can disrupt a company's operations, leading to lost revenue, missed deadlines, and unhappy customers. For example, if a cyberattack causes a company's website or network to go down, customers may be unable to access their accounts or make purchases. A business affected by this would likely see a decrease in consumer spending as well as customer retention.

Successful digital attacks can erode a business's reputation and credibility since they increase the chances of customers losing trust in the company's ability to keep sensitive information protected. Plus any negative publicity generated because of the cyberattack will also damage the public image of the company.

In the worst-case scenario, a digital intrusion could force a business to go out of business and shut down permanently. Since the financial and reputational damage inflicted by a cyberattack can be substantial, many businesses are put in a position where they are unable to recover from such an event.

How To Reduce The Risk Of A Cyberattack

Cybersecurity threats are a growing concern for businesses, as cybercriminals increasingly target organizations with limited resources and fewer security measures in place. However, there are steps that business owners can take to reduce the risk of a cyberattack and protect their business from potential harm. These would include the following:

1. Keep equipment up-to-date: Regularly update all software, including operating systems, applications, and security software, to ensure vulnerabilities are addressed and security features are up-to-date.

2. Use strong passwords: Use complex passwords that include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and consider using a password manager to generate and store passwords securely.

3. Implement two-factor authentication: Enable two-factor authentication where possible, which requires users to provide two forms of identification (e.g. a password and a security code sent to their phone) to access an account.

4. Train employees on best practices for cybersecurity: Educate employees on how to recognize phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other common tactics used by cybercriminals. Teach them how to handle sensitive data, use company equipment safely, and report any suspicious activity.

5. Backup data regularly: Backup data frequently, ideally daily or weekly, to prevent data loss in case of a cyberattack.

6. Use encryption: Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access.

7. Implement network segmentation: Divide the network into smaller, more secure segments to prevent a single point of failure from compromising the entire network.

8. Consider cybersecurity insurance: Cybersecurity insurance can provide financial protection in the event of a cyberattack and cover the costs associated with data breaches and other cyber incidents.

By implementing these steps, business owners can significantly reduce the risk of a cyberattack and protect their businesses from potential cyber threats.

How An MSP Can Help

In conclusion, outdated equipment can increase the risk of a cyberattack and potentially harm a business. This is why, business owners should take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack.

However, keeping up with the latest security updates and implementing the necessary cybersecurity measures can be challenging for business owners with limited time and resources. This is where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can help.

MSPs specialize in providing IT support and services to businesses, including cybersecurity solutions. By partnering with an MSP, business owners can benefit from expert advice and support to keep their equipment up-to-date, identify and address potential vulnerabilities, and ensure their business remains secure from cyber threats.

When business owners decide to work with a trusted MSP they are then able to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and ensure their business remains secure in the face of evolving cyber threats.

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