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Cybersecurity Training: You Know You Need It

How much of your business relies on computers, data, and connectivity to the Internet? Very few businesses can rely solely on pen-and-paper record keeping anymore. Unfortunately, this exposes our businesses to new types of risk - phishing, ransomware, viruses, and hackers can all cripple a business in seconds.

For example, the City of Atlanta was recently hit by a ransomware attack¹ that may cost it over $9.5 million as it tries to recover its data. Closer to home, MacEwan University in Edmonton lost $11.8 million in an online phishing scam ². Fortunately, it was able to recover most of the lost money, but still lost over $1 million in unrecovered funds and legal and banking fees.

These are both scary stories that could happen to anyone. What would you do if you were hit by a cyber attack?

At Avail, the protection of our client’s data is critical. Over the last year-and-a-half, we have provided training and support to our team to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. The training includes ongoing phishing campaigns, where convincing but fake message are sent to the team to try and bait them into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. These messages are created by our IT team, so there is no harm done, and we can monitor how many team members fall for these ploys.

As a result of these efforts, we’ve seen:

  1. The number of team members falling for phishing campaigns has fallen from 1-2 every month to zero in the last several months
  2. The amount of time our IT team has spent restoring computers affected by viruses and malware has dropped by 80%
  3. Conversely, our IT team now gets more calls from team members when they receive an email that looks suspicious, before they open anything in the message
  4. Overall team member downtime due to cybersecurity threats has been reduced to nearly zero

Clearly, our proactive efforts have paid off in helping keep our data secure and eliminating downtime. Of course, as threats evolve and as our team grows, we will need to continue to be diligent.

We are pleased to offer the same services to our clients. Our IT team can draw on its experience working with our own team, to help assess your systems, offer training and ongoing phishing campaigns, and provide recommendations for improvement. Call us today to find out more!

1 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-atlanta-budget/atlanta-officials-reveal-worsening-effects-of-cyber-attack-idUSKCN1J231M

2 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/macewan-university-phishing-scam-edmonton-1.4270689

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