Summit/Expo presenters: It’s not a question of if you will be a victim of cyber attack, but when – American Press | #malware | #ransomware


If the current statistics are any indication, the question for individuals and companies of all sizes is not if they will be a victim of cyber attack but when. At least three presenters, including the FBI, used some variation of this phrase when presenting at the second annual SWLA Cyber Security Summit and Expo held Wednesday, July 21, at L’Auberge.

“It’s a cliche, but it’s the truth,” said Mark Ducatel, a special agent with the FBI.

His agency has gone from an average of handling 20,000 daily calls, mainly organized crime phishing for money, for the last 16 years to an average of 320,000 daily.

Joshua Tannehill, Lumen Technologies, said the summit’s purpose was to provide education about cyber security threats and trends, especially government resources available to help “level up protection, detection and response.”

“This conference teaches the audience what to look for and who to report it to,” Tannehill said.

Unlike last year’s conference, local and out-of-town cybersecurity companies presented info and had vendor booths.

“As bad as it sounds, be skeptical,” echoed Brett Dering, Kinetic IT Solutions, one of the summit’s sponsors.

Tips for experts and business owners included limiting access to important systems, segmenting networks and data, implementing application whitelisting and removing hard coded passwords and reports, and don’t pay ransomware.

A representative from Extreme Fabric Content said that ransomware increased 144 percent in 2021 and more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur every day.

Individuals and companies lost more than $6.9 billion to internet crimes in 2021, a jump of more than $2 billion from 2020, according to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report. A total of 847,376 internet crime complaints were filed in 2021, a seven percent increase from 2020, but a staggering 81 percent jump from 2019.

Cyber attacks are on the rise among small and midsize businesses, and it’s important if you “see something to say something,” Britt said.

When in doubt, don’t click. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t go there. Limit personal information shared online. Change privacy settings. Don’t use location features. Keep software applications and operating systems up to date. Create strong passwords and two methods of certification. Create backup files. Protect the home wi-fi network. Check account statements.

Over 80 percent of business breaches are caused by human error. All 50 states have laws requiring reporting of breaches.

Letting the proper federal, state and local authorities know whether a company or individual has been a victim of a cyber attack is crucial. Report computer or network vulnerabilities to the National Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Center (NCCIC) at 1-800-282-0870. Forward phishing emails to phishing-report@us-cert.gov



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