FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — Local cyber security experts say you are the front line of defense against attacks both at home and at work, because all that hackers need to find is one vulnerability as their way in.
“It only takes one wrong move of an organization for a bad actor to come in,” Kyle Johnson said.
The cyber security expert says organized hackers are persistent and do their homework, like a bank robber casing a bank branch for days on end to learn all the ins and outs, so they can find a company’s soft spot.
“Everybody posts on LinkedIn what their job title is, what they’re doing for the company. You can see how many employees the company has, you can see how much profit they’re making so you understand how much money is coming in. So you can get very targeted in these attacks,” he said.
He says that can leave crucial infrastructure like a water utlity or power grid vulnerable to hackers as well, whether they’re looking for a quick payout to release their ransomware or they have a more malicious motive.
“You’re looking at a lot of the essential services that we live and we may take for granted on a daily basis, that one wrong click of a mouse and it could have some dire consequences. Most of those organizations from that standpoint are more prepared to handle some sort of a physical disaster than they are a technological disaster,” Johnson said.
He says you need to protect yourself at home, too, by keeping your machines up to date, enabling two-factor authentication, and using pass phrases instead of passwords.
“Use something like your favorite lines from movies, favorite tv characters or movie characters or book titles. Anything like that that can help you remember something but is actually longer and more complex for hackers to potentially try to get after,” he recommended.
He says your family members and colleagues need to understand that what they do in their everyday life, like opening unfamiliar emails or links, can affect the cyber security of the family or organization as a whole.