As the world becomes more dependent on the internet for transactions of all kinds, keeping everything secure is a constant challenge.
Cybersecurity professionals liken their work to an “arms race.” Every time we introduce a new secure tool, cybercriminals try to find new ways to defeat it.
Come to think of it, we have to be right all the time. Charlie Christianson, president of CMD Technology Group, which builds computer networks in businesses of all kinds and keeps them secure, said.
Growth for Your Company (G4YC) president Paul Whalley says cybersecurity is like physical security: the harder it is for criminals to defeat, the more likely they are to avoid becoming victims. increase.
“For example, if a criminal were to rob a house, he would rather have it open than a house with bolts on all doors, tightly closed windows, and a sign in the front indicating that it has a security system. They are more likely to raid the house.”
“Two-thirds of users use the same password for multiple online accounts. Imagine that a cybercriminal knew that one password and could log into your financial, work, or cloud accounts. Look, it happens to millions of people every day.”
Whalley is best known as the founder of Whalley Computers. In his current business with G4YC, he helps companies such as CMD Technology Group grow their businesses. With Christianson, Willie will host his cybersecurity conference on Tuesday, September 19, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at his Country Club in Longmeadow’s Twin Hills. Its purpose is to educate local business leaders and his IT professionals about evolving cyber threats and the latest tools to combat them.
Companies that bought antivirus software years ago might think they’re protected, but Christianson says that even if the outdated software blocks cyberattacks, it’s not the source of the attack and the vector of entry. He said it could take months to identify.
“New software tools can make a big difference because they can quickly point you in the right direction to find problems,” he said. “Some people block threats, move them to safe servers, and decide if they should be quarantined.”
Two-factor authentication (2FA), an access code sent by a bank in text after a customer enters a password, has emerged as a powerful deterrent to external attacks. Encouraging safe practices, such as written policies that guide employees on how to behave when using company systems, is another key to combating cyberattacks.
However, a software tool can be good or bad depending on the people using it. Scott Augenbaum is a former FBI agent and cybercrime prevention trainer who will be speaking at his fall cybersecurity conference. Augenbaum argues that online safety starts with basic practices that everyone can follow, starting with passwords.
“Two-thirds of people use the same password for multiple online accounts.” Imagine a cybercriminal knowing that one password and being able to log into your financial, work, or cloud accounts. Try it, it happens to millions of people every day.”
When he retired from the FBI in 2018, Augenbaum said cybercrime was a $4 trillion problem. Since then, his cost to society has doubled. “The pandemic has ruined the lives of everyone except cybercriminals. was doing.”
In addition to using 2FA, Augenbaum notes that businesses and individuals identify what he calls “mission-critical accounts,” such as bank, credit card, and mobile phone accounts, and that each password is unique and requires at least 12 We recommend that you make sure it is 15 characters long. length.
All three cybersecurity experts told BusinessWest that no one is too small to be targeted by cybercriminals.
“All the victims I worked with felt they didn’t fit the victim profile,” said Augenbaum. “Anyone who thinks they are immune because they are a small business is more likely to join the list of victimized small businesses.”
Christianson agreed, giving the example of someone who owns a pizzeria. “The person may think he is only in the pizza industry. So what happens? is a gold mine.”
He added that it is important for business owners to consider what is unique within the environment that makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. There was a time when cyberattack insurance helped businesses get back to business quickly, but after years of rising claims, things have changed.
“There is a new landscape for cybersecurity insurers,” said Whalley. “Companies are now stricter about eligibility for cyber insurance.”
Christianson added that insurers want to know that companies have built multiple layers of protection into their systems before they sell cybersecurity policies.
“Just like an onion has layers, an effective security system also has layers that make it harder to break into a company’s data,” he explains. “If one layer fails, there’s another layer right behind it to thwart potential breaches.”
The September 19th conference will primarily focus on how technology and the more educated human element can be used to create these layers of protection.
“In addition to technology, we encourage training so that everyone understands how to mitigate risk,” says Christianson. “We all have a role to play in preventing cyberattacks.”