Can any business be the target of a cyber attack?

Can any business be the target of a cyber attack? Can any business be the target of a cyber attack?

1 Expert Answer

Michael S. Rogers

Senior Advisor, Washington, D.C.,  Brunswick Group

Anyone with data can be a target

Consider this scenario: a hack into the interconnected systems controlling major office buildings causes chaos by triggering fire sprinklers, creating sauna-like temperatures and manipulating critical equipment. “It’s not something that real estate investors really had to think about before, but it’s definitely on our radar screens now,” says Tom Murray, a Principal Partner at New Mill Capital, a real estate investment firm.

No business that stores or transmits information is immune from cyber attack. Some sectors have so far avoided data breach headlines, but threats and risks continue to increase.

Sectors with little history of attacks are often at greater risk. Recent reported hacks in the computer systems of cars, and even a jet’s in-flight entertainment system, shook the transportation sector. In 2016, hackers manipulated a US water treatment plant. A year earlier, a German steel mill reported massive damage after an attack disabled blast furnace controls. Surprising targets include small businesses and nonprofits.

“Ask these questions,”Do we use computers? Do we use the internet? Do we create or handle data? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are a viable target for the bad guys.

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