Cybercrime has jumped off the big screen of Hollywood and onto the small screen of business computer users from coast to coast. Unlike the Hollywood blockbusters, in most cases the hero doesn’t arrive in the nick of time to save the day. Given the international nature of cybercrime, even the FBI is all but helpless to put a stop to this growing scourge, no matter how big the headlines produced by data breaches get. In recent years, high-profile cyberattacks on companies such as Target, Home Depot, Sony and Sears have alerted the public to the growing threat of cybercrime. Criminals are endlessly creative when it comes to monetizing breaches. They exploit easily guessed or re-used passwords, lost or stolen laptops and human error. More and more, they trick people into giving them access to their machines, followed by a demand for money. Hackers sometimes breach a computer and send fraudulent emails directing others—in the name of the breached victim—to pay them a ransom. More often, they sell the purloined financial information to the highest bidder. Who loses? Not the banks but rather companies with minimal internal controls and weak security protocols. Many business owners are still operating under a false sense of cyber security. Businesses have to ask themselves “what cyber exposures exist for me?”
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