A Review of Cyber Threats Affecting Businesses in 2018

2018 was a banner year for hackers with widely publicized data breaches occurring in companies like Panera Bread, Under Armour’s data loss through their MyFitnessPal app, and reports of personal data from Facebook being distributed without consent. Then there is the recent attack reported by Marriott International Hotels, which affected nearly half a billion consumers over a 4 year period. Small companies will likely hear these massive data breaches and assume they can still quietly fly under the radar from hackers, but the numbers and statistics tabulated in recent years tell a different story.

What the Numbers Show

Cisco, one of the world’s leaders in the development and implementation of cybersecurity plans, recently reported that in 2017, 59% of medium-sized companies experienced at least one hacking event. In 2018, 39% of small businesses (employing less than 250 employees) reported a data breach, with downtime of over 8 hours occurring for approximately 40% of those affected.

Cisco concludes the biggest threats for small businesses include ransomware, advanced malware, and specially designed phishing campaigns targeted against corporate employees. In addition, a newer and increasing threat is cryptomining, which is the embedding and delivery of mining software through email campaigns. Cryptomining hijacks an unsuspecting victim’s computer processing power and uses it to mine for cryptocurrency. This hijacking of processing power drives up a company’s energy costs and decreases computer efficiency.

How to Prevent Attacks

Although large companies experience high-profile attacks, they also have the advantage of having extensive IT resources at their disposal to help clean up after attacks. Small and medium-sized companies rarely have the resources to support an in-house IT security team. Those with smaller resources however, rely on their corporate data just as heavily as larger companies and they need to have a plan to protect it. This is where a company like AE Technology Group can help. We can develop a comprehensive strategy to protect a company’s data, devices, employees and networks from both external and internal threats. We provide the technical and security expertise that small and medium-sized companies require, thus allowing them to focus on other important matters — like running their business.    

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