In 2016, Apex Technology Services was the first company to put the aggregate damage of the Ransomware market at $1 billion, a number backed up by the FBI at a later date. Now, the industry is worth at least $6 billion and it is growing at over 2,500%!
U.S. companies have been a prime target of hackers. Iranian hackers targeted banks and a dam in Rye, New York. Russian hackers have attacked New York banks endlessly. Banks are an obvious target of course and so are hedge funds in places like Stamford, CT.
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Hackers like big splashy targets and names they know are generally easier to target than obscure organizations not on th eradar in places like Eastern Europe.
When looking for an area of the world where there are the most targets, look no further than New York. Yes, the island of Manhattan is home to 55 of the Fortune 500 companies. Texas has 54 and California has 53. These are your main target states. Illinois is next on the list at 34 – you can see the number drops off substantially after CA.
Fortune-class companies never work alone – they need partners and feeder companies that help them. In other words, where these huge companies are located typically there are other small to medium size companies in the same area feeding off the big guys.
Moreover, hackers – especially those using Ransomware prefer businesses which are real-time in nature. Where every moment costs money or even lives. This is why healthcare, banks and ecommerce are fantastic targets for them.
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Getting back to the states. Really, there is no company or jurisdiction safe from hackers but if you are located in the New York area, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc. you are more likely to be hacked on a statistical basis – comparing state to state.
The fact that New York controls so much money makes it that much more tempting. Moreover, much of the back office work for Wall Street is done in New Jersey and Connecticut making these areas tempting targets as well. In Connecticut, the cities of Stamford and Greenwich house the hedge fund capital of the world – yet another big target.
Bottom line: every company needs to be as secure as possible.
A determined hacker can get into just about any system.
Here are some quick areas all corporate management needs to be aware of:
1. Cybersecurity training is crucial.
2. Auditing and documentation must be performed regularly to ensure systems are secure.
3. Anomaly detection should be running constantly to detect threats as they emerge.
4. Penetration testing shows if systems can easily be reached from the outside. Here is a case where this test might have saved two company’s’ reputations from being destroyed.
5. Network forensics for when a breach eventually occurs. The bad guys always seem to get in
Regardless of how secure you think you are, it is always a good idea to call in cybersecurity services experts to ensure your systems are as protected as possible. A regular outside audit is absolutely necessary to ensure your systems are as protected as possible.