The persistent and pervasive threat of cyber breaches looms large over businesses, both big and small. In 2023, cybersecurity experts from around the globe witnessed several high-profile breaches that sent shockwaves through the industry. Cybercrime Magazine is predicting an 8 trillion USD price tag on global cybercrime by the end of the year. When you consider that in terms of spending, if cybercrime were a nation, it would be the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and China. Yikes!

Let’s take a look back at a handful of cyberattacks that have dominated the headlines this past year and what lessons exist for small businesses to take away.

5 Cyberattacks That Kept Cybersecurity Experts Up at Night in 2023

Here are a few of the cyberattacks that contributed to that 8 trillion USD hit this past year.

“T-Mobile US hit by another cyberattack”

T-Mobile was hit earlier this year, not once but twice, in a breach that exposed customer names, account numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth and contact information. 37 million customers were impacted.

“MailChimp suffers another social engineering attack”

A bad actor launched social engineering attacks on MailChimp employees and contractors and used their stolen credentials to gain access to select client accounts. Cryptocurrency and financial companies were the targets of this cyberattack, which was a repeat of a similar attack that had taken place the prior year.

“Ransomware gang steals data of 5.8 million PharMerica patients”

Hackers breached the pharmacy services provider’s systems in March, stealing sensitive health information of nearly 6 million customers. Months later, the data is still available for download.

“Forever21 data breach affects half a million people”

The clothing giant was victim to a three-month-long cyberattack beginning in January of this year. The breach affected over 500,000 customers as well as employees. This was the second large-scale cyberattack for the company, which had also been hit in 2017.

“Casino giant MGM expects $100 million hit from hack that led to data breach”

MGM Resorts suffered a significant cyberattack, causing system disruptions for several days. This attack, which began with a convincing phone call, resulted in the theft of the personal information of some customers including names, contact details and sensitive identification numbers. The hacker group called Scattered Spider, known for social engineering attacks, is believed to be behind this breach. They exploited human vulnerabilities to access and infect MGM’s systems. Despite the company’s efforts to manage the crisis, including offering free credit monitoring services to affected customers, this incident highlights the growing threat of sophisticated cyberattacks in the hospitality industry.


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Common Denominators and Lessons for Small Businesses

While these high-profile breaches involved large corporations, there are crucial lessons for small businesses to extract from these unfortunate events.

1. Prioritize Employee Training

Many breaches stem from human error, emphasizing the need for comprehensive employee training programs. A key takeaway is to ensure that your organization receives regular training sessions to educate employees on recognizing and mitigating potential threats.

Example: Bank Check Fraud

It’s important to educate and train your staff on the different types of security threats out there, such as phishing attempts, social engineering and even more personal attacks such as bank check fraud. We recently received an email from a team member’s personal bank informing them about check fraud. Nationwide banks are dealing with check theft, where people are stealing checks out of mailboxes and from the post office and washing and depositing the checks elsewhere. Staying informed about the evolving threats out there and regularly educating your team will keep your employees and business safe.


Need help with cybersecurity training for your team? Let us know.


2. Ensure Security Measures are Up-to-Date

Several breaches have been facilitated by outdated security systems and software. Small businesses often neglect timely updates, making them vulnerable to evolving cyberthreats. Tech Squared employs cutting-edge technology and ensures that clients’ security measures are regularly updated.

3. Insufficient Data Encryption is a Risk

Breaches often occurred due to the lack of robust data encryption protocols. Tech Squared emphasizes the importance of encryption to protect sensitive information, implementing state-of-the-art encryption techniques to secure client data.

4. Proactive Monitoring is a Must-Do

Delayed detection was a common theme in many breaches. Tech Squared employs proactive monitoring systems that identify and address potential threats before they escalate, preventing any disruptions to business operations. A full time 24×7 Security Operations Center is essential in this day and age.

5. Third-Party Vendors Can Increase Risk

Many of the high-profile breaches in 2023 were attributed to vulnerabilities introduced through third-party vendors. Small businesses often collaborate with external partners, and overlooking the security measures of these collaborators can expose them to significant risks. Tech Squared emphasizes the importance of vetting and monitoring third-party vendors to ensure they adhere to robust cybersecurity standards.


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Tech Squared: Your Safety Net During Tumultuous Times

In contrast to the tumultuous cyber-landscape of 2023, Tech Squared proudly announces that none of its clients fell victim to malware throughout the year. This remarkable achievement stems from a holistic approach to cybersecurity that includes:

  • Comprehensive Threat Intelligence – Tech Squared leverages advanced threat intelligence tools to stay ahead of emerging cyberthreats. This proactive approach allows for swift identification and mitigation of potential risks.
  • Advanced Endpoint Protection – The implementation of cutting-edge endpoint protection ensures that all devices connected to a network are secure. This includes laptops, smartphones and other devices that could serve as potential entry points for cyberthreats.
  • Regular Security Audits – Tech Squared conducts regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities in clients’ systems. This proactive measure prevents potential breaches and strengthens overall cybersecurity posture.

As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats that businesses face. While the high-profile breaches of 2023 served as cautionary tales for the industry, Tech Squared emerged unscathed, ensuring the safety and security of our clients. Small businesses overwhelmed by the ever-expanding world of technology can find peace in the fact that comprehensive cybersecurity services, like those provided by Tech Squared, can shield them from the storm of cyberthreats. Interested in learning more?

Book a consultation and discover how Tech Squared can keep you protected in an increasingly tech-driven world. Never forget, cyber-crime is real and very organized.