Even though it unfolded right in the middle of the holiday season, news of the SolarWinds hack created huge waves in the worlds of business and IT. As one of the most extensive data breaches ever, it has further changed what we know and think about cybersecurity.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, here are the main points: at some point in early 2020, hackers were able to include malicious code into an update issued by the Texas-based company SolarWinds. The criminals – who were purportedly from Russia – were then able to access software through Microsoft and other industry giants. It is suspected that more than 18,000 accounts and users were compromised, with the victims including government agencies, hospitals, universities, and major corporations.

There is still a lot we don’t know about the SolarWinds hack, including who was affected and what the long-term losses might look like. However, there are three distinct takeaways any business owner or executive should draw from the information that is already available…

Nothing is 100% Guaranteed to Be Safe
What’s probably the most staggering thing about the SolarWinds hack is how many huge businesses and organizations were compromised. Criminals were able to break into Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and even the California Department of State Hospitals.

Thankfully, these sorts of incursions are very rare. Still, they reinforce the idea that you can never really relax on data security, regardless of how large your organization is or how many protective measures you take.

Data Security is a Practice, Not a One-Time Event
We sometimes hear from business owners and executives who want us to “handle” cybersecurity in a single visit, but that’s not how things work. Staying ahead of hackers around the world requires constant changes, updates, and reviews. It’s a project that has to be taken piece by piece and reevaluated continuously.

It’s certainly a good idea to have an outsourced IT team upgrade or overhaul your online security if you have ignored this area of your business for a while. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are finished after hiring them for a quick checkup.

IT Vendor Relationships Matter
When events like the SolarWinds hack are all over the news, IT companies like ours see a huge demand for new assessments and consultations. We are happy to help, of course, but have to tend to our existing clients first. That means businesses without established vendor relationships might face long delays.

The point to take away, is that working with an IT partner you can trust prevents a lot of cybersecurity issues from affecting you in the first place, while also putting you at the front of the line when you need immediate help.

Is Your Data as Safe as it Could Be?
Data will probably never be completely secure in the digital age, but there’s a huge difference between having the strongest levels of protection and leaving your business open to repeated cyber attacks. Companies like ours might not be able to prevent every problem, but we can help you to ensure that they don’t grind your productivity to a halt or wipe out your bottom line.

To learn more about what we can do for you when it comes to data security, contact our sales team today, so we can schedule a free consultation.