As your Cyber Security Specialists, we’d like to share the following information regarding cybercrime, and offer you some tips to help keep you from being a victim. 

The increase in internet users is expected to reach six billion people by the year 2022. That’s 75% of the projected world population of 8 billion, and that’s an appealing number to hackers. They smell new blood!

Cybercrime damages are estimated to cost $6 trillion annually, worldwide, by 2021. That’s an increase of $3 trillion since 2016.

In 2015, the Chairman, President and CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty, stated that “cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”

Cyber criminals like to strike where the money is. Therefore, banks are one of the major targets of cybercrime and in the last year alone, locations all over the globe have been hit by hackers. As reported by FICO, an analytic software firm, there was a 39% increase in the number of US debit cards being compromised in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same time period the year prior, and a 21% increase for ATM and point-of-sale devices during the same time frame.

While October is the official month dedicated to cyber security awareness, we want to remind you to take precautions now and keep them implemented all year-round! The following tips can prove invaluable to help keep personal information safe and help you avoid becoming a victim: 

• Cancel your debit cards! Debit cards are the number one way that bank accounts are compromised. 

• Designate one PC for online banking and DO NOT use that PC for accessing any other websites, e-mail accounts, social media sites, or for downloading files or applications. 

• Be sure to sign up for email alerts from your bank whenever a withdrawal exceeding $100 occurs. 

• Be sure to have your signature required for any wire transfers. 

• Spread your funds out over multiple accounts in order to minimize the risk of being hacked. 

Did you know:

• The vast majority of U.S. small businesses lack a formal Internet security policy for employees, and only about half have even rudimentary cybersecurity measures in place. 

• Only about a quarter of small business owners have had an outside party test their computer systems to ensure they are hacker proof. 

• Nearly 40 percent of small businesses do not have their data backed up in more than one location. 

Shockingly, despite these significant cyber-security exposures, 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber-attacks. 

In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. As more and more large companies get serious about data security, small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets—and the results are often devastating for small business owners. 

In recent years, nearly 60 percent of the small businesses victimized by a cyber-attack closed permanently within six months. Many of these businesses put off making necessary improvements to their cyber-security protocols until it was too late because they feared the costs would be prohibitive. Don’t make the same mistake! 

Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber-attack. 

For more information or for help in implementing your cyber safety, contact Tech 20/20 today at 516.876.8761 or by email at tech@tech2020solutions.com.