What Does the SolarWinds Hack Mean for SMBs?

Posted on Jan 13, 2021 10:46:33 AM

 By now, you are likely aware of the SolarWinds hack, but why is it significant for the cybersecurity of small and medium-sized businesses and how can we learn from this event?

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what actually happened in the SolarWinds hack, why it’s a watershed moment for the cybersecurity industry and how small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario can make sure they are taking the appropriate steps to protect their data from hackers.

Before we get into more detail, however, here at OT Group we would just like to reassure all of our existing clients that we do not use SolarWind software in any of our IT business solutions. 

You likely have no need to worry about how this hack will directly affect your company, but it does have some valuable lessons on how you can better protect your data moving forward.

So, what actually happened in the SolarWinds hack?

A hacker group, believed to be a state-sponsored entity, hacked into the SolarWinds Orion platform (a monitoring and management platform for IT administration) allowing them to push out malicious updates that infected the computer systems of more than 18,000 private and government customers. 

By compromising the infrastructure of SolarWinds’ Orion platform, the hacker group was able to produce and distribute trojanized updates to the software’s users. This gave the group access to computer systems belonging to multiple US government departments, as well as private companies, in a long campaign that is believed to have started in March.

The fact that malicious code was hidden in a trusted supply chain, which then allowed the hackers to target anyone using the software, makes the entire event particularly alarming for those within the industry.

Why is the hack so significant?

As mentioned in an email sent out by our trusted cybersecurity partner Field Effect, the SolarWinds hack has been described as a watershed moment in cybersecurity.

This isn’t just because of the size of the attacks, said Field Effect in an email, but because of the meticulous planning and craftiness of the threat group, which allowed them to remain undetected on highly monitored networks for an extended period of time.

Field Effect said: “This serves as a reminder that no one is immune to cyber attacks no matter the expertise or the size of a company. Most cyber attacks can be prevented by practicing good cyber security hygiene, updating your software, training your stuff to exercise vigilance, and monitoring your networks for any abnormal behaviour. 

“However, sophisticated attacks are harder to prevent and when the attacker does get in, a security response plan should be in place to mitigate the threat and prevent further damages.”

How OT Group and Field Effect can secure your company’s data

As stated by Field Effect the best way to protect your business from cyberthreats is to practice high-quality cybersecurity hygiene - you can learn more about this on our blog titled ‘6 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Small to Medium-Sized Business.’

It’s also important to use innovative technology to monitor and protect both your hardware and software. Covalence, an end-to-end cybersecurity software solution from Field Effect and offered as a cybersecurity solution by OT Group, is designed to detect known and unknown threats.

By monitoring your company’s hardware and software programs, Covalence looks for abnormal behavior and activity patterns that are indicative of anomalous activity, even if the attack tactics have never been seen before. Once detected, Covalence eradicates malicious threats to your business.

You can learn more about how the innovative software works by reading our blog, ‘Protect Your Small or Medium-Sized Business from Cybercrime with Covalence.’ 

Want to speak to an expert about improving your company’s cybersecurity strategy? Get in touch with OT Group today. Our team of highly-skilled and experienced IT professionals in Ontario would love to help.


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Topics: Network Security