We associate computer hackers with pop-ups and password changes. Or spotty teenagers in dark bedrooms who cause financial, not physical, harm. But last month, a cybercriminal infiltrated a Florida water treatment facility’s network security system, trying to control the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water levels. The motive? Poison the surrounding town’s entire water supply. 

Thankfully, the hacker failed. But there was a real risk to human lives. Welcome to Cybercrime 2.0. This time, it is not malware—it’s murder. The sodium hydroxide hacker proves how easy it is to attack a network security system and how any business without adequate cybersecurity could be a victim.

Most cybercriminals do not want to poison your water. But they want to access your networks, applications, devices, and your most treasured asset—data.

So what can you do about it?

Network Security — An Ever-Growing Problem

glowing computer that demonstrated the importance of technology and network securityYou might think network security concerns multinational brands. Or enormous water treatment facilities in Florida. But cybercriminals target businesses of all stripes, including those in St. Louis. Start-ups, scale-ups, medium-sized enterprises—hackers don’t care. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has seen a five-fold increase in cyberattacks since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Email scams, data breaches, password dumps, you name it. These criminals targeted those fighting the most significant global healthcare crisis of our lifetime. 

Network Security in the Post-Pandemic World

Hackers love to exploit us when we are vulnerable. As St. Louis businesses struggle to reopen after almost 12 months of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and sales slumps, cybercriminals continue to create carnage. 

Hackers have caused so much suffering to St. Louis businesses by exploiting network components like hardware, software, servers, and cloud services. 

For those who work at home, hackers aren’t too far away. These criminals lurk somewhere on the dark web, ready to cause destruction. Forty-seven percent of work-from-homers fell for phishing scams post-pandemic. And video conferencing data breaches affected more than half a million people worldwide from February–May 2020 alone. 

What’s the Solution?

Network security is more critical than ever, but many St. Louis businesses don’t have the time or resources to do it. That’s the trick: prioritizing cybersecurity enough to allocate significant resources to the problem. Make a list of all your data’s weaknesses, then create a step-by-step solution for each.

If you don’t know where to start or simply don’t have the time to run a business and a full-scale cybersecurity investigation, investing in a local IT security provider might be your best solution for network security. These professionals manage your network environment, preventing cyber-criminals from killing your business.

Are you looking for managed IT support and security services? ThrottleNet is St. Louis’s No.1 IT service firm for managed networks, providing custom cybersecurity solutions based on your budget. Learn more here.