Winter Olympics Hack Update (Part 2) – How a Managed Services Provider Can Help

In our last article, Part 1 of this series on the recent cyberattack on the Olympics, we discussed what happened at the Winter Olympics 2018, why it happened, and what this means for your company. In this article, we’ll offer tips that can help your company avoid falling victim to the same loopholes that granted cybercriminals access to the Olympics and how a managed services provider can help.


Phishing and Spear Phishing: The Cause of the Winter Olympics Cyberattack

As we discussed in the last article, leading computer security experts identified that the Olympic Destroyer malware most likely was installed on the Olympics systems because hackers had gained access to system administrator credentials.

They accomplished this through phishing and spear phishing.

Not sure what the terms phishing and spear phishing mean? Here’s a quick explanation:

  1. Phishing and spear phishing attacks send people spam emails cleverly designed as real emails from services that many people use, such as Netflix.
  2. After very matter-of-fact emails, targets are directed to click a link or button that lead them to a landing page.
  3. Though the landing pages look entirely legitimate, they’re actually controlled by hackers, and as you innocently “update your information,” what you’re really doing is giving your login credentials, as well as private and financial information, to hackers.

Spear phishing is the more targeted version of these attacks, in which hackers try specifically to gain login credentials or information from CEOs, CFOs, or other administrative-level users at a company.

These days, phishing attacks are becoming increasingly more common because, honestly, they work. Depressingly well.


How to Avoid Phishing at Your Company

Known as “social engineering,” phishing and spear phishing attacks often play on our basic human instincts: the interest to get more money, protect the money we have, get free rewards, make new friends, and do a good job at work. Just this month, KnowBe4 published a study in which they released the most effective subject lines for phishing attacks – and it appears that cybercriminals are only becoming more sophisticated in their methods.

Although a good spam blocking service will prevent you from receiving the vast majority of phishing emails directed at your company, no spam blocker can catch 100% of all attempts.

Therefore, to prevent successful phishing and spear phishing attacks at your company, you must focus on training your people to:

  • Scrutinize emails with a critical eye, paying close attention for any unexpected contacts, return addresses, typos, etc.
  • Call up and verify that senders (even ones you know) sent included attachments before clicking on them.
  • Avoid clicking links inside emails and instead navigate directly through your browser by typing in the web address.


Get a Network Check Up from a Managed Services Provider to Secure Your Business

Though the cyberattack at the Olympics surprised the world (and especially the South Koreans who were hosting the games), your company doesn’t have to be surprised by malware.

Experts agree that the best ways to defend your company against a malicious attack is to keep your systems up to date and perform regular backups.

In fact, you can prevent the majority of cyberattacks if you:

  • Keep your software up to date and install those security patches
  • Use spam blocking services and other email security tools
  • Back up your systems and networks to an off-site location at least daily
  • Test your backups so you’re sure they work when they need to
  • Monitor your systems for signs of attack

This list may sound simple, but in reality, most business owners find all of these tasks to be just more items on their overfull to-do list. Unfortunately, in the rush of business, security often gets overlooked entirely.

Your company’s security is too important to overlook, so the best, easiest solution is to outsource your IT services entirely to a Managed Services Provider. That way you’ll know you’re safe, no matter what.


Find a Managed Services Provider in Seattle

A Managed Services Provider (or MSP for short) helps you secure your IT systems by taking care of all that dull administrative IT work for you. Best suited for companies that either don’t have an IT department at all or that have a small and overly busy IT department, the outsourced IT capabilities of a Managed Services Provider can be exactly what your business needs to ensure your systems stay up to date, backed up, and protected at all times.

If you’re looking for a Managed Services Provider that offers full-service solutions in the Seattle area, consider Interplay. Since 2001, Interplay has been a leader in managed services for small businesses, offering a range of solutions and pricing options for a varied client base.

Interplay can help with whatever network security measures your business needs to succeed, including performing device and network inventories that help you secure all your vulnerable access points; spam blocking and other email protection services; or even full, fixed-fee, around-the-clock network monitoring, patching, and software upgrades with tested backups that are performed as often as every five minutes.

Our broad experience, best practices, and custom-designed management plans, combined with over $100,000 in management tools, allow us to manage your systems better than you ever thought possible.

In fact, our clients commonly state that our services are comparable to enterprise-level IT support, only affordable.


Find out how easy it can be to protect your company with a Managed Services Provider. Request a quote from Interplay to learn more.