Las Vegas Tops List of Unsafe Cybersecurity Cities

Las Vegas remains the most dangerous city when it comes to cybersecurity for small businesses, according to a report from cloud security provider Coronet. The company reached the conclusion after scanning the top 50 metro areas of the US as a follow-up to a similar report last year.

To prepare the report, the company collected data over 12 months from over 93 million security events that its products logged, including malicious Wi-Fi and cellular networks, misconfigured endpoints and bot attacks. It used these events to create a weighted threat index score.

The threat index score comprised two other scores. The first, device vulnerabilities, accounted for seven security factors, including active and updated anti-malware signatures and firewall settings, password protection, disk encryption and account permission settings. The more vulnerabilities a device had, the higher its score would be.

The second score was the connectivity score, which rated the security of cellular and Wi-Fi networks in the city. The riskier it was to connect to a public Wi-Fi access point, the higher the score. Together, these scores gave a city a threat index rating from zero (the safest) to 10 (the cyber-equivalent of New York in the late seventies).

So, how did the cities rank? Las Vegas remains the most insecure city, with Houston TX and New York rising to second and third place from fourth and 11th respectively.

Why did Vegas rank highest? According to the research, 27% of users access cloud apps from medium-risk networks, while 8% of users access them from high-risk networks. Both of these are three-times the national average, the company said. The report cited the heavy use of Wi-Fi in hotels, restaurants and casinos, which implies a link between tourism destinations and poor connectivity security. It also cited “The State of Nevada's vastly underfunded cybersecurity budget.”

Conversely, Salt Lake City is now the most secure in America, according to the report, with St Louis and Seattle-Tacoma coming in at second and third place for the safest cities to be in cyber space.

No matter where you do business, some key basic cybersecurity hygiene measures can help secure your business. Keep anti-malware tools up-to-date, configure your firewall properly, and use strong passwords with multi-factor authentication for all accounts that allow it. Train staff in security awareness, keep proper backups to thwart ransomware crooks and have an incident response plan so that you can respond quickly if you find yourself under attack.

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