Recently, Facebook announced that nearly 50 million user accounts were compromised in a data breach. The breach, which can be traced back to July 2017, is one of the largest in the company’s 14-year history.  In response to the attack, Facebook reset 90 million logins automatically, fixed the software vulnerability and informed law enforcement officials. 

Contrary to popular opinion, cyber-attacks on large organizations (Facebook, Target, etc.) are the norm rather than the exception.  Sixty-percent of all cyber-attacks are against small and mid-size companies because of one very important reason: these organizations are less likely to have protections in place to mitigate their cyber exposure. 

Organizations of all sizes can take a proactive approach to mitigating their risk against a cyber-attack.  Changing passwords every 60-90 days; requiring passwords be at least eight (8) characters long; and avoiding common names/words all make it more difficult for hackers gaining access to your organization’s system. 

Cyber security attacks continue to increase in both size and severity. In order to truly protect themselves, organizations must remain informed on the latest cyber security trends. While it can be difficult to predict the emergence of new risks, the following is a list of some of the major threats experts have identified for 2019 and ways to protect your business:

Viruses and worms: Computer viruses and worms are malicious programs designed to infect core systems and destroy essential data. What’s more, viruses and worms can replicate themselves, infecting an entire network quickly. To protect your system, install anti-malware on all network devices.

Drive-by download attacks:  Drive-by download attacks generally refer to the unintentional download of malicious code from an app, operating system or browser, which, in turn, opens you up for an attack. What’s most concerning about these attacks is users don't have to click, download or open anything to become infected. The best way to avoid these types of attacks is to keep your web browsers updated and ensure users don’t navigate to potentially dangerous sites.

Phishing attacks:  Phishing scams are a common strategy for hackers—one that requires minimal technical know-how and can be deployed via email. With every opened email, users risk becoming the victim of monetary loss, credit card fraud and identity theft. Successful phishing attacks oftentimes go unnoticed, which increases the risk of large and continued losses, particularly for businesses. To avoid becoming the victim of an attack, organizations need to train users on how to identify and avoid common phishing scams.