Bringing It Home: Breaches and Phishing Hit Texas and New Mexico

Posted by Amanda at Varay on Jan 26, 2018 1:36:52 PM

Thief phishing for personal data | Varay, El PasoThere’s an interesting phenomenon in psychology known as “The Just World Effect.”

Basically, we have such a hard time accepting our own vulnerability that we blame people for the unfortunate events that befall them.

The underlying belief is that bad things only happen to people (or organizations) that had it coming in one way or another. But we know better, so those bad things won’t happen to us.

For example: When a tornado destroys a neighborhood, people might blame the residents for choosing to live in Tornado Alley, or for settling for poorly built homes.

In our industry, we see people blame inept governments and ignorant individuals for allowing data breaches or theft via phishing scams. If you don’t believe me, check out the comment threads on stories like this. Whew!

Your network and identity are more vulnerable than you think

It’s awful tempting to assume that the companies and individuals who receive ransomware attacks or lose money to a phishing scam are less street-smart than we are — that they somehow had it coming.

But the truth is, even small businesses, even tech-savvy individuals, and even here in the El Paso/Las Cruces area, we are all more vulnerable to cyber security threats than we want to realize.

It can happen to anyone

In 2012, thousands of New Mexico residents had their identities compromised in a breach.

In 2016, El Paso school teachers had their payroll stolen and sensitive data handed over to malicious hackers.

In the same year a phishing scam swiped $3 million from the city of El Paso.

Not to mention a local doctor who ended up paying thousands of dollars to retrieve data stolen in a ransomware attack.

It’s time to face the fact that we are just as vulnerable

Don’t fall for the the Just World Effect.

Woman with flu | Varay, El PasoThese Texas/New Mexico individuals and entities didn’t deserve their breaches any more than you do. And they probably all felt they had taken necessary security steps like installing antivirus software.

But antivirus is like a flu shot — while it can protect you from a narrow strain of cyber security threats, you’ve got a whole network “body” to protect from a world full of possible harm that goes far beyond a single virus.

Comprehensive cyber security is not something you can download or guess about. It requires intentional, proactive steps and maintenance, and an experienced team looking out for you.

Proactive cyber security saves you money

To expand on our physical health analogy, when organizations fail to secure their networks and data sufficiently, it’s like having a compromised immune system.

Without a comprehensive “immune system,” any cyber security threat — or even a natural event like a flood or electrical storm — can wipe you out for good.

Piggy bank with glasses | Varay, El PasoThe costs can be too great to recover from:

  • Fees for non-compliance to HIPAA or state/federal regulations
  • Ransomware extortion
  • Downtime
  • Irretrievable data
  • Loss of reputation to your existing and potential clients

Investing in your security is one of the most economical decisions you can make for your business.

Varay’s new security suite offers multi-layered protection

We just launched a new security suite, V-Secure, which allows us to tailor a plan that will meet your organization’s needs and give you the protection you need to continue growing and serving your clients.

The new security suite has four components:

  1. Security
  2. Education
  3. Compliance
  4. Monitoring

The security component is vital for every organization, but depending on your needs, we may also bring in the employee education, compliance check, and real-time monitoring elements.

Cyber security isn’t something you want to DIY

We all want to save money where we can in business, but leaning on antivirus software or crossed fingers is a costly practice.

You’ll save money when you invest in an IT team with integrity that will do the hard work to stay on top of your security needs.

There’s a time to DIY, and a time to get in touch with Varay.

We’re here as a trusted partner to keep your business secure

Let Varay set your mind at ease with a comprehensive security solution that’s customized to meet your business’s needs.

Contact us today to set up a free visit to determine your IT score and gain a better understanding of your strengths and vulnerabilities, and see which elements of our new V-Secure ™ suite fit you best.

Topics: identity theft, phishing, monitoring, data theft, Security, breaches, Virus protection