Washington DC is most targeted US city for security attacks
Companies in all industries are prone to online security attacks if proper defenses are not in place, but certain cities in the United States have a greater proliferation of incidents compared to others.
A recent study conducted by Norton and independent research firm Sperling's BestPlaces revealed that the nation's capital is the No. 1 city for online security attacks. A key driver behind the saturation of breaches is that many people in the area use smartphones. Also, the city contains a high number of malware infections and web incidents.
According to the research, Seattle is No. 2, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Raleigh and Austin.
"In our examination of the riskiest online cities, we've considered a number of factors that can potentially affect online safety," said Sperling's lead researcher Bert Sperling. "By looking at data from consumer lifestyle habits as well as cybercrime data provided by Symantec, maker of Norton products, we're able to provide a holistic view of the various factors that put a person at potential risk."
Marian Merritt, Norton internet safety advocate, also noted the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, as well as the continued use of laptops as prime targets for cybercriminals. Furthermore, people in these cities are using social networking websites and applications more than ever.
"While there are many positive aspects as a result, this analysis highlights the potentially risky factors we face each time we go online," said Merritt. "By taking a few simple precautions now, people can make sure they stay protected against online threats."
With the number of internet-connected options available today, hackers have more platforms to attack than ever. According to a recent Forbes report contributing writer Kenneth Rapoza indicated that botnets, Trojans, SQL injections and denial-of-service attacks will be more prevalent in 2012.
According to Rapoza, the only certainty in the cyberworld is that more companies and wireless devices will be compromised this year. As a result of these attacks, businesses will close because of the more than 70,000 threats discovered on a daily basis.
So-called hacktivist groups, such as Anonymous, are also expected to up the ante this year and infiltrate government computer systems, according to the Forbes writer.