• Rebekah Mercer

Post Harvey: Houstonians Face a New Kind of Threat

Hurricane Harvey is undoubtedly one of the greatest, if not, the most damaging natural disasters that the city of Houston has ever encountered. Beyond the damages that have resulted economically in the areas of business, employment and physical destruction to homes and buildings, Houstonians also face the threat of cyber breaches.

The Houston Business Journal (HBJ) published a recent story explaining the potential cyber threats posed to small to mid-size businesses and private citizens in Houston post-Harvey. Although currently it appears that individuals rather than small and mid-size companies in Houston have more encountered cyber threats since the hurricane, this does not mean that such businesses have not been affected with cybersecurity problems. Accordingly, despite the fact that business data is so far left unharmed since the horrific hurricane, other types of digital data may still be at risk of breaches.

According to experts, small and mid-size Houston businesses are not prepared to best confront such cyber threats. Concerns relating to Houston’s slower rate of technological development are not unfounded. In fact in referring to a report by Deloitte LLP, the HBJ explained that Houston companies fell behind the average U.S. company in almost each category of planned technological growth.

Fortunately, there are other Texan businesses that have taken a proactive approach to manage such threats, however, the coming weeks will provide a clearer picture as to how many businesses’ cybersecurity has been threatened as more Houston companies reach out for help from data service firms such as Data Foundry and Kroll inc.

In the meantime it is important for these smaller businesses to create and execute data safety plans such as implementing back-up servers outside of state borders or even outside of the U.S. Recognizing that cybersecurity is an area of economic overlap that is shared by Israel and the “Lone Star State,” and also in light of the city of Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed intention to strengthen economic ties between his city and the Jewish State, perhaps small to mid-size Houston businesses should consider confronting such threats of data compromise by working with Israeli businesses for back-up solutions.