Security Roundup: Riskiest/Safest States, Symantec, Worker Shortage


Bad news for Florida: The sunshine state has the worst cybersecurity practices among consumers, leading to workplaces especially vulnerable to breaches.

That’s according to Webroot, which revealed the top five riskiest states when it comes to cybersecurity practices. Issued in conjunction with Ponemon Research, the report details residents’ level of readiness to prevent, detect and respond to cyberattacks such as ransomware, phishing and identity theft.

After surveying more than 4,000 individuals in the United States about their cybersecurity knowledge and internet safety practices, Webroot found that Florida ranks as the riskiest state. Coming in second was Wyoming, followed by Montana, New Mexico and Illinois.

Webroot's Charles Tomeo

Webroot’s Charles Tomeo

Charles Tomeo, Webroot’s vice president of worldwide business sales, tells us the report underscores that most people aren’t practicing good cyber hygiene at home, which can easily translate into poor cybersecurity practices in the workplace.

“Poor cyber hygiene at work can result in data breaches or ransomware infections, costing businesses money, hours of downtime and negative impact to their reputation,” he said. “It’s clear from this data that MSPs delivering security services are more important than ever to keep businesses safe.”

On the flipside, the safest state is New Hampshire, followed by Massachusetts, Utah, Rhode Island and Minnesota.

Despite some of the largest data breaches in history occurring last year, such as the Equifax breach that disclosed the financial information of more than 145.5 million Americans, this report illustrates that many U.S. residents still fully don’t understand the risks they face online.

“To me, the most surprising thing is that over 50 percent of Americans don’t use antivirus, which is shocking given the sheer number of threats that are out there today,” Tomeo said. “Threats like ransomware can be particularly devastating to users without data backups. Using a reputable antivirus solution is one of the easiest things you can do to protect yourselves from a variety of nasty cyber threats.”

Some 72 percent of Floridians reported sharing passwords or other access credentials with others. In comparison, 53 percent of respondents in New Hampshire claimed that they never share passwords with others.

Overall, less than one in four Americans regularly monitors bank and credit-card statements, blocks pop-ups, updates online account passwords and takes precautions before clicking on an email — all of which are factors that would increase online security, Webroot says.

With Florida leading the pack as the riskiest state, many might think age plays a significant role in determining risk; however, 75 percent of respondents 30 and under were found to have a higher level of cyber riskiness than older respondents, according to the report.

“This report is a good reminder that most of us aren’t taking cybersecurity seriously,” Tomeo said. “If everyone kept their system patched, didn’t share passwords and used a good antivirus, the world would be a much safer place.”

Security providers should be targeting customers in all states as cybercriminals don’t discriminate when it comes to their victims’ locations, he said.

“While Florida may be the riskiest state and New Hampshire the safest, there’s still room for all of us to improve,” Tomeo said. “We always recommend …

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One comment

  1. Avatar Emma June 11, 2018 @ 5:54 am

    VPN is also essential at this stage. I wish government start praising VPN services and to protect their citizens’ data they share paid VPN services for Free. I’m currently using PureVPN and would be happy if I got purevpn subscription for free 🙂

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