Report Ranks Houston 2nd for “Most Vulnerable Cities” to Cyber Attack

Cybersecurity is a big concern for all businesses because the fallout from a data breach is enough to bring a company to its knees. 

A new report from Coronet outlines the worst cities in the country for cybersecurity, and Las Vegas comes in at number one for the second year in a row. However, it’s bad news for Houston, the city that has climbed its way from fourth place to a close second. If you run a business in Houston, this means the risk for cyberattacks is becoming increasingly problematic.

The study was conducted over 12 months and took a comprehensive look at a range of devices, networks, cloud apps, and email accounts in small and mid-sized businesses. The report followed up on the organizations 2018 Cybersecurity in the City report, which analyzed original data from over 93 million security events in the top 50 U.S. metropolitan regions to create a threat index. 

This is a particular problem for Houston because it is a growing business hub that is in its infancy in a lot of ways. While larger cities that have been established centers for business will be more aware of cybersecurity issues, a lot of companies in Houston are woefully unprepared. 

As new businesses open and existing ones grow, their reliance on technology is increasing every day. That brings them a lot of new opportunities for growth and development, but it also increases the risk of Houston cyber attacks. A lot of the businesses in the Houston area underestimate the seriousness of the threat, and they do not have the right defenses in place to protect themselves. 

These problems are exacerbated as companies grow and their reliance on technology increases further. Their IT departments are often understaffed and they are not investing a sufficient amount of money in cybersecurity defenses, which makes them easy targets for cybercriminals and earns Houston the second place spot on the list of the worst cities for cybersecurity. 

However, many Houston businesses are beginning to understand the position that they are in, partly due to reports of this nature. More business owners are opting to outsource to managed IT services like to handle their cybersecurity. 

These professional IT services have the knowledge and the resources to deal with the ever-changing threat of hackers, and ensure that businesses can operate without falling victim to a cyber attack. When compared with the efforts of their understaffed IT departments, businesses are getting a far superior level of security, so they can focus on their future without worrying about cyber attacks. 

This new trend to outsource cybersecurity is a vital development for the city because Houston cyber attacks could seriously damage business growth, which will have a big impact on the overall economy of the area. 

While giant corporations such as Target and Yahoo have been in the headlines for major data breaches, these national companies have the capital to absorb such losses, but the smaller businesses do not. 

Meanwhile, several small Houston businesses have been the victims of ransomware and other cyberattacks, and these attacks are crippling to say the least for businesses who are still growing. In fact, Gov. Greg Abbot has even warned that Houston businesses need to be even more concerned and on the lookout for increasing cyberattacks amidst the tension between the US and Iran.

It is vital that modern businesses in Houston look to build more robust defenses and work with IT professionals to defend against cybercrime. As companies seek to prioritize cybersecurity, perhaps Houston can improve its standing on the list of the worst cities for cybersecurity. 

Chris Turn

Chris Turn is the pseudonym of a journalist and writer who has published short stories, essays, and criticism in the Los Angeles Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the New York Times. Her most recent book, a novel, is The Summoning (The HarperCollins Canada, 2014). She lives with her husband in Toronto.

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