Cyber attacks show no sign of slowing down this year. A quick Google search or Google alert provides a daily reminder of the latest attacks and the latest victims around the globe. Most cases involved targeted attacks on companies and their clients, as well as cryptocurrency exchanges and resulted in over $1.5 billion in losses. 

It should come as no surprise that C-level executives rank cyber security as the no. 1 challenge they face for the third consecutive year, as more than 85% of companies report experiencing a breach in the past three years (our survey says...), however, only 39% of the 400 executives and board members surveyed said their company has fully developed and implemented a cyber defense strategy, putting them at increased risk for future attacks. (stats from Brouse McDowell - cheers!)

A similar share—37%—said their company has yet to create a cyber defense strategy at all, let alone implement it, the report found. The remaining 24% of executives said their company has developed a strategy, but has yet to fully implement it - WHICH % ARE YOU?

<u>What's hot for the upcoming year ahead:</u>

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware targeting both human and technical weaknesses in an effort to make critical data and/or systems inaccessible. Ransomware is delivered through various vectors, including Remote Desktop Protocol, which allows computers to connect to each other across a network, and phishing.

2. Hacking/Server Attacks

Hacking—exploiting vulnerabilities in software and hardware—is often the first step in an attack. Hackers currently cause the most damage to businesses, governments, banks, and cryptocurrency platforms and can shut down entire operations leaving companies rudderless at sea.

3. Tech Support Fraud

Tech Support Fraud is a widespread scam in which criminals claim to provide customer, security, or technical support in an effort to defraud unwitting individuals and gain access to the individuals’ devices. There are many variations of this scam, and criminals are constantly changing their tactics to continue the fraud. For example, in addition to telephone calls, popup and locked screens, search engine advertising, and URL hijacking/typo-squatting, criminals now use phishing emails with malicious links or fraudulent account charges to lure their victims. Criminals also pose as a variety of different security, customer, or technical support representatives and offer to resolve any number of issues, including compromised email, bank accounts, computer viruses, or offer to assist with software license renewal.

In light of so many recent cyber attack events, it is important to maintain best practices when it comes to data privacy and cyber security. And to echo the words of Abraham Lincoln: "insurance, insurance, insurance."