It may not feel like it, but it has only been a month since 2017 began. As with every year, there have been plenty of articles circulating the past few weeks that attempt to sum up 2016. One theme was touched on in many pieces was rampant lack of cybersecurity that lead to numerous attacks throughout the year. Then, to counteract these judgements, there were articles published detailing how these flaws in security can be fixed and what issues may persists throughout 2017. You probably saw tons of headlines like “Top 10 Security Predictions for 2017” and “5 Worst Cyber Attacks of 2016” and “10 Ways to Prevent Data Loss in 2017.”

It’s hard to live up to 2016, which saw the largest DDoS attack in history and leaked government emails. However, even as people become more aware of the importance of cybersecurity, cyber criminals become more creative and their techniques and malware evolves.

So, now that it’s been a month, how is 2017 going?

Hotel Hell

Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a hotel is Austria, has been hit by several cyber attacks. These otherwise small assaults have been in headlines because of the unusual effect of the ransomware had on the hotel’s guests. Guests were locked out of their rooms until the hotel gave up 1,500 euros in bitcoins. In response, the hotel has decided to resort back to traditional locks that don’t require the compromisable swipe of a keycard.

Sundance Meltdown

One of the biggest film festivals in the US suffered from a small cyber attack which took Sundance’s box office offline for an hour. Several DDoS attacks on their internal IT infrastructure came next but didn’t affect the festival. Though the damage was minor and no employee, artist or customer information was compromised the FBI has still launched an investigation. At this time they do not suspect the attack was launched to protest any certain film. Of course, for some people, there is always room to speculate!

Tampa Fights Back

Knowing that cyber attacks are becoming more and more of a threat, small business owners in Tampa, Florida met today to discuss how to defeat ransomeware. U.S. Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) and former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell spoke to those who attended and talked about defensive strategies people can take to help keep their information safe. His top suggestions were to keep educated about security and always have information backed up.

IMB Beefs up Security

IMB is already a major IT company, and to keep ahead of the trends they have acquired Agile 3 Solutions, a company which works to identify security risks and manage sensitive data for executives. This move shows they are aware that cybersecurity is becoming evermore important to businesses. IMB already has an arsenal of security companies, but Agile 3 Solutions will help visualize potential risks, explain why something is at risk, and come up with a solution to eliminate risk for clients.

Cisco’s Annual Report

Finally, a sturdy summary of the year before us and the year to come was published today. Cisco released it’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. According to this report problems with keeping information safe stem from lack of budget, lack of trained security professionals, and the challenges that come with eternally upgrading infrastructure to combat evolving malware. Their advice is to “evangelize cybersecurity”. We couldn’t agree more. For those running a business, lead by example and make security a top priority.

Not everything this year has gone along perfectly, and no one expected it to. Cyber attacks are inevitable, but luckily so is the determination to defend against them. There is a growing awareness within the business sector that sees the harm cyber attacks can cause. Losing the trust and business of clients, losing revenue, and brand reputation are only some of the hits businesses take after an attack. The importance of education in IT and cybersecurity shows through the attacks in the headlines, how businesses react, and the data metrics gather.

Meg Krafft

Digital Marketing Assistant at The Security Awareness Company
After starting out creating digital and print marketing for a real estate company, Meg now assists in keeping up the marketing needs for SAC. When not working she's probably watching a good movie or indulging in local art and music.