When There’s Something Strange in Your Computer, Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbust… Oh, the FTC?


Ransomware attacks, data breaches, and other cybersecurity threats are becoming a part of doing business. Hackers do not discriminate among targets, as evidenced by WannaCry ransomware attack targeting hospitals, multinational companies and other organizations.

Media coverage often only covers data breaches at large companies, such as Target Corp., Sony Corp. and Yahoo Inc. Privacy and security attorneys have previously told Bloomberg BNA that although small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) make up 95 percent of all business in the U.S., privacy and security issues for smaller companies have stayed under the radar. 

However, the Federal Trade Commission—the U.S.’s main privacy and security regulator—is doing something to help SMEs to thwart cyberattacks. The FTC announced May 9 that it launched a new website with articles, videos and other information to help small businesses avoid scams and protect their computer networks from cybersecurity threats.  According to the FTC, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S., employing nearly 57 million people. 

The commission noted that cyberattacks can be “particularly devastating to small businesses” and the volume of cyberattacks targeting SMEs are on the rise. 

Following the devastating WannaCry ransomware attack, the FTC also posted tips for companies and consumers on how to avoid becoming the next target. The commission suggested backing up important files and being aware of links or downloading attachments and applications. Additionally, the FTC suggested updating operating systems and other software on computers, and keeping up with future updates.

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