Hacking and data breaches have been in the public mindset for a long time. But as more technology is integrated into our daily lives and the workplace, you and your firm have become even more susceptible to a hack – highlighting the importance of cybersecurity, an industry Arizona is on the frontline of shaping. You’ve probably seen the splashy headlines about data breaches hitting big names like Banner Health, Chick-fil-A, Equifax, Target, the U.S. Postal Service, Sony, Yahoo! and the list goes on. Like many other people, you might have brushed off those headlines or yawned, thinking you’re glad not to have to manage those damage control teams. But in this growing world of cybercrime and technology, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll be playing damage control after a data breach at your firm, it’s a matter of when. “Small and medium-sized businesses are drastically underestimating the risk by just thinking, ‘They’re not interested in me,’” says Michael Cocanower, founder and president of Phoenix-based itSynergy. “In fact, hackers are very interested in you. They realize, ‘I can spend six months hacking into Target, or I can spend this afternoon hacking into your 20-person company and make $10,000 off that.’” Cybercrime has cost businesses, individuals, governments and the world game-changing amounts of money. Cost of cybercrime Cybersecurity Ventures, a research and market intelligence firm, reports the cost of cybercrime will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion by 2021. United Kingdom-based research firm Juniper Research predicts cybercrime will cost businesses alone more than $2 trillion by 2019. However you cut it, cybersecurity will only get more serious and more important as time moves on. Many businesses are unprepared, with 87 percent of small businesses reporting that they do not have a formal written Internet security policy, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Also, The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60 percent of small companies are unable to stay in business six months after a cyberattack. Cocanower says business owners need to be much more aware of cybercrime and the importance of having their cybersecurity systems up to snuff. There are a variety of ways hackers can infiltrate your business and you need to be aware of them, Cocanower says. Phishing scams and downloading malware or viruses are probably the most common and known. But you could also be compromised by inputting your password on a website you think is real, using open Wi-Fi, the list of risks goes on. Nothing Web-connected is safe either. Your smart phone, watch, car and Web-connected toaster oven are just the newest items susceptible to attack. Sure, you can download the latest anti-virus software, hire a skilled cybersecurity team (if you can find people who are qualified and available) and do 100 different things to keep your company secure, but that’s still not enough. Why? “The weakest link in any system is the human being,” Cocanower says.
MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MGT) today provided a commentary from the Company’s proposed Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John McAfee. On Sunday afternoon May 29th, Mr. McAfee, conceded the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Throughout his nearly yearlong campaign, Mr. McAfee continually highlighted issues of privacy, security and cyber threats that confront people across the globe. He provoked dialog on the technology people welcome into their homes, vehicles and pockets to provide convenience and enrichment, but also open a gateway for major threats to privacy and security. As a successful entrepreneur and cybersecurity pioneer, Mr. McAfee is best known for creating the McAfee anti-virus software suite which has been installed on over a billion computers worldwide since its introduction. He is also credited with being an early developer of instant messaging with his company Tribal Voice. “So many problems in the world can be easily fixed with common sense and a good grasp of the technology that people use daily, as long as we monitor the vulnerabilities caused by these same technologies. I see my upcoming new role as CEO of an exciting new cybersecurity company as paramount to that mission,” Mr. McAfee said at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, Florida. “As Chief Executive of MGT, I will lead a team to aggressively develop technology platforms, software, hardware and components designed to protect people and their freedoms. Under the technical leadership of the Company’s proposed Chief Technology Officer, Eric ‘Eijah’ Anderson, we will be laser focused on bringing these technologies to market.” “It is my life’s work,” McAfee concluded. “I fully expect that we will leave an even greater and longer lasting impact than the company I created in the 1980’s.” As previously announced, MGT has executed asset purchase agreements to acquire certain technology and assets from D-Vasive Inc., a provider of leading edge anti-spy software, and Demonsaw LLC, a provider of a secure and anonymous file sharing software platform. In conjunction with the anticipated acquisitions, the Company also announced the proposed appointment of John McAfee as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer upon closing of the transactions. Further, MGT Capital also intends to change its corporate name to John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc. Closing is contingent on customary conditions including approval by MGT’s stockholders.
Dive Brief: New data released by Kaspersky Lab last week found that the number of people who encountered ransomware during the last year increased by more than 500% over the previous year. Kaspersky researchers say the number of reported ransomware attacks jumped from 131,111 to 718,536 between April 2015 and March 2016. Meanwhile, the number of enterprise users attacked by ransomware jumped from about 7% of all ransomware victims to more than 13% a year later. Dive Insight: Ransomware continues to pose a significant threat to all types of institutions, both public and private. Earlier this month, the University of Calgary in Canada became the victim of a ransomware attack and paid about $16,000, or $20,000 CDN, to cyberattackers. In February, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles paid the equivalent of $17,000 in bitcoins to a hacker to regain control of its computer systems.