The Connected Nation Blog: Beware of Online ‘Tricks’ This Halloween

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beware of Online ‘Tricks’ This Halloween

By Chris McGovern, Manager, Research Development, Connected Nation

Are you afraid of hackers this Halloween?

This Halloween, many businesses are scared of more than ghosts and goblins – they’re looking out for malicious “tricks” played by computer hackers. Today marks the end of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and according to Connected Nation’s 2010 Business Technology Assessment, about one in twelve businesses said they do not subscribe to broadband service due to concerns about fraud or identity theft. If this figure is extrapolated across the country, it represents nearly 600,000 business establishments that say that these concerns are preventing them from going online.

This has important economic repercussions. In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski pointed out that, on average, each cyberattack against a small-or-medium-sized business costs the business about $200,000. 

To help businesses feel more secure online, the FCC (along with partners from both the public and private sectors) plans to release a new Small Biz Cyber Planner in November. This tool will help businesses assess their online security needs and create a customized plan to ensure that their networks remain safe from hackers.

Have you (or your business) been the victim of a cyberattack? Tell us your scary story of the efforts you had to go through in order to make things right at our website, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.