Emphasize the Reality
IT services marketing companies must first be sure to appraise clientele of their vulnerability toward hackers. Many small to medium-sized businesses have been hacked and don’t even realize it. How else could 50% of all small businesses have experienced some echelon of cybercrime in 2015? Many hackers are wise enough not to advertise their shenanigans and, as a result, a great number of clients are hacked without knowing it. Those who aren’t don’t exist in a vacuum of vulnerability because they’re not some big-ticket corporation. So, your first step is to inform clients of the danger they’re in and probe to see if any known security risks characterize their operations. Several common ways in which small businesses are hacked include:
• Phishing Emails
• Whaling Emails
• “Dumpster” Diving
• Password Acquisition
Your IT services marketing firm should notify clients of these terms and help them familiarize themselves with the scams out there. From this standpoint, you should help clients understand the endgame of most hackers. Generally, they’re after access of an administrative kind, and modern hackers are, again, savvy enough to play their hacking hand “close to their chest,” as it were, not revealing their presence until— ideally– -after their thieving has already taken place. A good way to start is to initiate an access “reset.” Changing passwords and login information can invalidate previous acquisitions and allow for closer examination of activity that may be dangerous. One thing that characterizes hackers is that the things they do are often outside normal operations. So, one technique many MSPs use to spot them is searching for anomalous behavior.
More Signs of a Hack
You should conduct a technology audit that checks on how machines are working. Several red flags to educate clients on regarding hacks often include:
• Internet operations that are unusually slow
• Unusually slow machine operation
• Signs of tampering
• Ubiquitous pop-ups and redirects
• Account lockouts
If your Internet is unusually slow or your machine seems to be unusually sluggish, this likely means malware. You can tell this could be the case if there are instances of high CPU cycles, hard disk activity, or memory usage. You want to ensure all systems are regularly backed up beforehand, because the best fix for this is a wipe and reset. If data isn’t backed up, it’ll be lost. But if you back up data after you notice issues, then it’s very likely you’ll load whatever malware was causing the trouble right back on the machine.
If you’ve ever come back to a desktop station or other end user portal to find files where they shouldn’t be, programs running that you didn’t activate, or files that seem to have gone missing, it’s likely someone has been messing around with your computer. Take swift measures to prevent potential hackers.
Pop-Ups and Redirects
When you’re surfing the Internet and popups keep manifesting like they’re going out of style, that’s a big sign of malware. It’s the same when you’re continuously redirected to varying websites. Pop-ups also act as hacker portals. You click on the wrong area by mistake and a hacker has access. You want pop-up blocking software in addition to antivirus and malware protection.
Being Locked Out of An Account
There are a few reasons this could happen. You could have entered your user information too many times. Or the password could have been changed by a hacker who obtained your information. Or someone could be trying to hack your account through brute force. Encourage clients to have the utmost security when designing usernames and passwords, and again, be sure they’ve got a BDR solution available for that worst-case scenario.
Anti-Malware and Antivirus Software Is Not Enough
Your IT services marketing company must communicate the danger any business is in from hacking. Many will mistakenly suppose that having anti-malware or antivirus or anti pop-up software is requisite to their needs, but hackers know better. For goodness sake, most hackers are disenfranchised tech people— they make their living knowing the tricks of the trade. So, you’ve got to put roadblocks up that ensure data is safe and prying hands are unable to gain access. Educate your clients.