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The month of September began with a sudden evacuation for many residents of the Bahamas and southeastern parts of the United States. The slow-moving Hurricane Dorian began its course of destruction with severe flooding and winds the first week of September. In the Bahamas alone, authorities predict it will take billions of dollars to repair the damages created by the hurricane. A country can prepare all they can for a hurricane—whether that means boarding up houses and stores, packing up belongings, or evacuating—but an economy can never be prepared for the deadly effects of a hurricane.

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As industry processes around the world become more digitized, businesses find themselves increasingly prone to vicious cyberattacks. In May, a ransomware attack named WannaCry infected software in over 150 countries, upsetting procedures in the technology, finance, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and communications industries. Although a security patch for WannaCry was issued and installed in several systems, it wasn't enough to prevent a separate ransomware attack called Petya, which spread in June and affected thousands of machines in over 65 countries. Virtual epidemics such as these, which have become quite frequent over the past year, can prove devastating to international business, causing technological destruction, operation disruption, and widespread theft of money and intellectual property.

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Cybersecurity remains one of the largest concerns for many of today’s largest institutions. Hackers have become more prevalent than ever and are always finding new ways around the latest internet security precautions. There are many different kinds of information that these hackers seek. It can range from medical information from hospitals, staff and donor information from universities, or inside information from public or private companies. Whatever the targeted material may be, hacking is putting companies and even countries at risk to have this information stolen. Multinational cybersecurity corporations such as Cisco and Fortinet have tackled the task of creating cybersecurity systems to protect complex data and operating systems used by many institutions. As the internet grows every day, these cybersecurity platforms need to fend off new and improved cyber threats.

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In this high-tech century, news about hackers breaking into corporate information systems is not surprising anymore. Rather, it has become a common administrative issue for businesses and requires special attention from the board of directors, since cyber-security breaches can result in significant business losses if not handled properly. This blog post will review the recent findings from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey and provide the approaches that company leaders can follow to reduce cyber risks.

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As large businesses worldwide amp up on cyber security, hackers are beginning to look elsewhere for their victims.  Research by Symantec, an internet security firm, states that 40% of all targeted attacks since 2010 have been on small to medium-sized businesses.  Attacks on large corporations, on the other hand, have accounted for only 28% of total attacks.  Hackers are targeting small businesses because they are aware that many small businesses do not have proper defenses in place and see these firms as lower-risk targets than large firms and financial institutions.

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The security of shipping containers carrying products overseas is a very sensitive issue internationally.  Since the smallest margin of error can lead to a devastating act of terror, policymakers want to do everything in their power to guarantee the safety of products shipped across the ocean.  The port of Los Angeles alone received 330,000 containers in January.  The risk of one dirty bomb getting past cargo inspections led the United States to pass legislation stating that every container entering the country must be scanned for weapons.  Is this practical, or is it an unreasonable expectation for security officials to execute? 

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Do you ever wonder why Facebook and websites always manage to have ads that seem very specific to you? Originally it was the cookie that tracked what you did, where you went, and how you used your internet. After that big scare many people started deleting their cookies every time they surfed the internet. Now? Facebook had the novel idea of the “like” button. Every time a person “likes” something, “magically” they will start seeing more ads geared towards that interest. The next step you ask? The digital fingerprint.