Today is a solemn day to remember, reflect, honor and remind us that we are as vulnerable today than we were 16 years ago. While we are susceptible to some of the same threats, new ones have emerged. This past week we learned Equifax fell victim to the largest security breach to date.   

Lloyds of London recently reported the threat posed by global cyber attacks has spiraled, and that it poses a huge risk over the next decade to business and governments everywhere.

Today an attack could come from anywhere with the push of a button. We are vulnerable and at risk. The WannaCry Attack in May, a few weeks later, cyber-attacks affected governments in the Ukraine with malware attacks shutting down the system.

Just like the worst natural disasters a cyber attack can cause severe damage to businesses and to the economy overall.

As we mark the solemn anniversary of 9/11, I am reminded of bombings years earlier at the World Trade Center that served as test one to those 16 years ago today. The WannaCry attacks and election tampering, infusion of fake news and other attacks on our grid and computers are each a wake-up call.

I am not advocating conspiracy theories or the world coming to an end. I am espousing a commitment to helping companies prepare for a crisis and work to minimize risks and vulnerabilities.

When faced with risks that are out of our control we can still plan. From a technical and operations side, you can make sure:

  • Your computers are always updated
  • You are using the most up-to-date software and systems
  • Backing up critical data
  • Changing passwords frequently
  • Not clicking on anything suspicious

You can also plan on:

  • Knowing the law
  • Knowing when to engage your stakeholders before problems become issues
  • Knowing what to say to them and knowing the best media to reach them
  • Knowing how to recover and protect if not enhance your company's reputation.

From our connected homes to the cloud, the medical device or autonomous vehicle, we are letting technology keep our guard down. It's time we take a step back and plan for the inevitable to avoid a future crisis.