Florida Water Hack Proves Importance of Cybersecurity

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Florida Water Hack Proves Importance of Cybersecurity

A recent hack on the water systems in Florida is reinforcing the need for all businesses to have a robust cybersecurity plan.

In February, a hacker got into the systems of the Oldsmar Water Treatment Plant. An employee noticed his mouse cursor was moving strangely on his screen, without his control. Later that afternoon, the cursor started clicking through the water treatment plant’s controls. Within seconds, the hacker was trying to change the water supply’s sodium hydroxide levels. High levels of sodium hydroxide, or lye, can cause severe damage to any human tissue it comes into contact with.

IT Shortfalls Are Extremely Risky Business

So, how does this happen? The city of Oldsmar was extremely lackluster in its efforts to prioritize cybersecurity. For one, the FBI found that the compromised computer was running an outdated Windows 7 operating system.

Next, the investigation found that staff at the Oldsmar Water Treatment Plan all used the same password for remote access via the TeamViewer app. What’s more, every computer at the plant used that same password. The FBI believes the hacker used that password to gain access.

And finally, the FBI found that the plant’s computers appeared to be connected directly to the internet with no firewall protection.

Protect Your Valuable Assets with an MSP

It may seem shocking that an organization that holds such sensitive and powerful information seemed to put cybersecurity on the back burner, but unfortunately, it’s all too common.

While the United States continually receives low marks for cybersecurity, ransomware attacks also continue to cripple local governments, schools, and healthcare agencies. When you also consider the fact that cybercrime is up 600% due to COVID-19, it’s easy to see why developing a robust plan to secure your company’s data is too important to ignore.

Some of the services that a Managed IT services provider provides that would have thwarted the attack in Oldsmar include:

Ensuring systems are up-to-date

In January of 2020, Microsoft stopped offering software and security updates, fixes, and technical support for Windows 7. The company warned that people could still use their devices running Windows 7, but they would be at a greater risk for viruses and malware. An MSP stays on top of industry news and software changes, updates, and recommendations to ensure your business is running the most updated and secure operating systems that stay in compliance with industry standards.

Using secure firewall protection

It’s essential to take advantage of basic cybersecurity protections by finding, deploying, and monitoring the best firewall for your company’s needs. Firewalls are the first line of defense against unauthorized access. They’re an integral part of network security. An MSP can install or update your firewall protection and monitor your network to identify and thwart potential attacks.

TheCompuLab is proud to offer cybersecurity services to businesses in Florida. To find out more about how our managed IT services in West Palm Beach can keep your company’s most valuable assets secure, contact us today.