According to the 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report compiled by Verizon, security breaches linked to hactivist organizations such as Anonymous are increasing at a dramatic rate. There is good news in the report, however: Most intrusions rely on modes of attack that can be defeated with some simple measures well within the reach of even the smallest business. This is true no matter if the attack is launched in order to secure some financial gain, through the theft of credit card information, for example, or if it is intended instead to send a political or social message about the company's stance on a controversial issue.
According to Chris Porter, who works for Verizon on their RISK team, the root cause of most breaches boils down to simple problems such as compromised login credentials or online applications that are used to perpetrate an attack. "Most of the time, it's pretty simple," explained Porter. "They [the companies in question] need to change passwords and implement some sort of firewall to protect remote access from the Internet."
Changing passwords is certainly something that most businesses can implement without outside assistance, though it may pay to have a representative of an IT consulting firm come to speak to relevant staff about the characteristics of a strong password. A firewall, however, is a tech tool that requires some expertise to install, configure, and maintain. The initial selection of a firewall is crucial; businesses must choose a product that best suits their IT environment. IT consulting firms can offer invaluable advice so that businesses invest their security funds in the firewall that will yield the most possible benefit.