We weren’t prepared.

And in all likelihood, we won’t be prepared next time either.

According to cybersecurity firm, Avast, on May 12, a massive cyberattack targeted computers in 99 countries with more than 75,000 attacks, making it one of the broadest and most damaging cyberattacks in history.

In just hours, companies, hospitals, government agencies, and organizations in countries around the world found their computer files held for ransom by a virus so vicious – so callous – that they didn’t stand a chance.

Britain’s National Health Service was forced to close hospital wards and emergency rooms, turning away patients in need. Russia’s Interior Ministry was hit, though they claimed that less than 1% of their computers were affected.

FedEx Corporation was hit and was "experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware".

Referred to as Ransomware, the virus enters companies and organizations the second anyone clicks on specific attachments, spreading the virus like wildfire internally from computer to computer.  Should you choose not to pay the ransom demand, all of your computer data can be wiped clean.  All in the blink of an eye.

While the latest incident was quickly brought under control by a “kill switch”, according to The Guardian, “This is not over. The attackers will realize how we stopped it, they’ll change the code and then they’ll start again.”

And this is just one of many viruses.

You’ve seen the headlines.

  • The U.S. Department of Justice was hacked, exposing information on 10,000 DHS and 20,000 FBI agents.
  • More than 500 million passwords were stolen from LinkedIn, Tumblr, and MySpace
  • More than 500 million user accounts were stolen from Yahoo
  • Millions were exposed on Adult Friend Finder
  • The U.S. Department of Defense is so concerned about hackers taking down the grid that they’ve created a $77 million security plan they hope will be up and running by 2020.

 

And that’s just a tiny fraction of what’s really happening.

Despite the scale and potential harm of such attacks, many companies and government agencies still are not prepared.  In fact, according to a survey of 600 corporate boards by the National Association of Corporate Directors, only 19% of them have an understanding of risks.

Up to 75% of all U.S. companies are not prepared.

Late last year, one of the largest attacks in history shut down Twitter, Netflix, Airbnb, and Reddit, and caused massive Internet outages in large parts of the U.S. and Europe.

At this point, it’s no longer a question of if the next attack will come… but when.  And just in case you think you’re safe, consider this.  More than 50% of Americans have been hacked, and they don’t even know about it.

With each new attack, cybersecurity becomes more and more vital.  Up to date security can prevent the loss of time, money and information. It can make the difference in your ability to manage your personal life, your business and even your government.

While many businesses are unprepared for the next hacking attack, The Cheap Investor is hard at work uncovering opportunities in this growing industry.