Study: Pennsylvania ranks second worst in country for cyber attacks


Pennsylvania has some work to do when it comes to handling cyber attacks. Right now, the state ranks the second worst in the country.

According to a new study which analyzed data from the FBI, Pennsylvania saw a more than 25 percent increase in cyber attacks between 2016 and 2017, something a local cybersecurity expert believes the commonwealth can turn around.

“Most of it comes down to individual businesses educating their employees,” said John Sancenito, president of INA, an international security consulting company, based in Harrisburg.

Sancenito tracks real-time cybersecurity attacks.

“We’re seeing a lot of websites compromised. We’re seeing a lot of business emails compromised, or phishing attacks against companies,” said Sancenito.

That coincides with what the study by found. Compromised business emails were the most prevalent cyber attack. More than 6 in 10 Americans have been the victims of a major data breach, something Sancenito calls an epidemic. 

“I’m a little surprised that Pennsylvania ranked so high on that list because cybercrime doesn’t know jurisdictional boundaries or state lines,” said Sancenito. “I do know that Pennsylvania has a large industry base and it’s usually corporations that are attacked for cybercrime.”

The study found that there are about 195 cyber attack victims for every 100,000 people in Pennsylvania, and gave the commonwealth a grade of “D” when it comes to election security. 

Topping the list by a large margin was Hawaii, Nevada came in at three, and Florida followed at number four.

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