Back in January 2021, Microsoft announced that its software, specifically the software running some Microsoft Exchange servers, had been hacked by a criminal group sponsored by the Chinese government. Further, the company said, everyone using the software was vulnerable until it was patched.
All over the world, organizations of all sizes, including small businesses, scrambled to upload patches and to figure out if they’d been infiltrated. Despite the efforts, some were still ensnared; at least 200 ransomware attacks were attributed to the hack, with some businesses losing millions as they paid the criminals.
The hack helped to highlight the vulnerability of the 32 million small businesses, many of which can’t afford to hire cybersecurity companies and that mostly rely on the built-in security features of software and hardware companies, giants like Google, Microsoft and Apple. Though the companies have made progress and the problem isn’t new, there are still vulnerabilities, especially in email and other software programs, including operating systems, that were designed long before the current rash of cybercrime and cyberespionage.