Hacked for a Jackson: Can a joker with a twenty really disrupt a business?

By Ben Liebing

“How much time and money do you think it takes to pull off a successful hack—to compromise your whole system?” asked Jon “Sauce” Marino of Celerium at July’s TMT’s Producers Club .

He took guesses from the audience during his presentation titled, ““Secure Your Business to Secure Your Customers: Cybersecurity, Compliance and You.” They had a couple thoughts: A few thousand dollars and several days? Three hundred bucks?

“Twenty bucks and five minutes,” Marino told the surprised crowd. “That’s all it would cost a hacker.”

Hang on a second—doesn’t hacking involve exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, or software, which would involve time, skills, and resources?

Not really.

This article from Computerworld underscores what Marino told the crowd: It’s cheap, easy, and fast to break down your systems.

According to the article, “(There is)…an ‘untraceable’ device that can be built for a mere $20 and could grant attackers wireless control of a car.” It goes so far as to say that transport networks can be hacked with a device small enough to fit in your palm, done in less than five minutes, and be remotely activated months or years later.

Kevin Mitnick, arguably the greatest hacker of all time, once showed us just how easy it is to infiltrate even large corporations. He told us his favorite hack was one of those easy hits, underscoring in a funny way how hackers can effortlessly penetrate systems.

According to StrongDM, 46% of all cyber breaches impact businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, and 61% of SMBs were the target of a Cyberattack in 2021.

It’s more important than ever for MSPs to not only protect themselves but also to ensure they have a cybersecurity offering that keeps their clients safe and sound.

In addition to trusted vendors who offer tools to prevent a cyber attack, here are three practical tips from the Prey Project to help you and your clients, with links for further learning and employee education:

Ensure you have the tools you need, and as Marino would say, don’t get hacked for a Jackson.

Got a hot tip for us? We’d love to hear from you. Email us your ideas, thoughts, and questions at [email protected].

Ben Liebing is the lead writer for MSP Success, the gold standard in the MSP space, providing timely and meaningful content that gives readers the tools they need to be the BEST in the business. Have a tip, story, or comment? Ben would love to hear from you! Prior to joining MSP Success, Ben worked as a Marketing Director for Tesla Motors, reported for The Cincinnati Enquirer, and served in the United States Air Force. He has lived, worked, and traveled in over 40 countries around the world.



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