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Upon realizing their vulnerability, hackers began increasing their attacks on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in 2011. As found by a Symantec study regarding cyber-attacks, exploits on SMBs increased from 18% of exploits that year to an astounding 43% by 2015. It is anticipated that this number will continue to climb in 2017 and thereafter.

As we are starting a New Year, January is the ideal time to review your company’s IT security plans for 2017. As a guide to what businesses will be likely facing in terms of cyber security threats, the following are the major issues that are anticipated. It is advisable to work with an IT support expert for the best implementation of security protocols.

Cloud Hacking

A business must work together with its cloud provider to make sure security is strong. Clients are the biggest risk faced by cloud providers, and they will be responsible for more than 90% of security failures. The most common cause is weakness in both authentication protocols and passwords. Training staff in cyber security is also essential for preventing the infiltration of a company’s cloud provider.

Data Breach

SMBs have to deal with the possibility of data breaches because being smaller does not make a company less vulnerable than bigger companies. According to a study by Kaspersky, nine out of ten firms dealt with at least one attack last year. Almost half of them had confidential data stolen. The average cost of recovery from a data breach approached $40,000 for a small business.


In 2015, there were 2,500 cases of ransomware that cost victims $24 million in the United States. Another cause of alarm is the ongoing development of new types of ransomware. For example, there is a type that deletes encrypted files if the ransom is not paid on time. Another type raises the ransom amount every time there is a missed deadline. Another type will publicize confidential data if a ransom deadline is not met.


Cyber criminals typically exploit known vulnerabilities to secure access to network and data. It’s perhaps the easiest way to breach a system. An estimated 3 out of 4 cyber attacks exploit a vulnerability already known, which, obviously, could have been addressed by a patch or update. A great part of being vigilant is keeping the entire IT infrastructure up-to-date at all times.

Alpha Engineering Business Support

Choosing an expert computer technology-support provider is an important decision for your business. Alpha Engineering Associates has been a trusted partner of many companies in the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis areas since 1990 and offer:

  • 24/7 Managed Services for Business Computing Systems
  • Network and Mobile Computing Support
  • Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Software Development

For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at 410-295-9500.

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