Recently, one of Winnipeg’s largest companies was hacked. This company has an excellent reputation. They do business all around North America and are a testament to the power of the Winnipeg business community.
Information surrounding this hack is scarce. Not disclosing those details, especially shortly after the hack, is often a good idea. Companies affected by hacks want to ensure that their networks are fully secure, patching all necessary vulnerabilities - disclosing the details of a hack could encourage other cybercriminals to try their hand at it.
Here’s a brief summary of what we know: Operations were disrupted for about two weeks as a result of the hack. For a large company, that can lead to a dramatic loss in revenue. When you’re a smaller company, it can be a death knell - imagine if your company couldn’t conduct operations for two weeks!
Hacks happen in Winnipeg
We don’t know whether or not the hacked company paid a ransom. The information we have about what happened may be scant, but it is evidence of at least one thing: Cybercrime happens right here in Winnipeg. Winnipeg businesses will be targeted as long as hackers think the effort is worth the payday.
There’s a conception among some business owners and IT professionals that ransomware and other cyber attacks only tend to happen in larger cities - why worry about hacks in Winnipeg when there are so many targets in Toronto? The recent hack should put such notions to rest. This is cybercrime, after all - location has little to do with it. Do you make money? Is your network insecure? If the answer to those two questions is yes, then hackers may very well target your business.
One quarter of Canadian companies were affected by cyber attacks in 2021 alone. That’s a terrifying number - if you get together in a group with 3 other business owners, it’s likely that one of you fell victim to a cyber attack last year. These attacks happen in Winnipeg - and the costs can be devastating.
Protect your business from cybercrime
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your business. First, make sure to train your team in cybersecurity awareness. More often than not, network access is gained through human error - phishing emails, social engineering, and other tactics are common.
You should also consider hiring a firm like Constant C. We offer managed IT services in Winnipeg, with a focus on cybersecurity. Our firm can implement defences, like managed detection and response (MDR), in which your network is actively monitored 24/7 for suspicious activity.
Even things like spam filters and managed permissions can help you protect your business. Our firm can implement these systems for you. We also highly encourage you to backup your data regularly and off-site to give yourself an extra level of protection against ransomware. We offer backups as part of our services.
At the end of the day, cybercriminals are going to target the least protected businesses first. They’re like burglars looking for a house where the door is unlocked, there’s no alarm system, and the occupants are on vacation.
Protect yourself. Make it hard for your network to be hacked.