Wisconsin’s National Guard is Fighting Against Cybercrime

The Wisconsin National Guard has become highly concerned about cyber security. Reason for this were the latest series of attacks on individuals, government offices and businesses. Main focus are cyber-attacks that target health care, electricity, food distribution, transportation and water supply systems.

Major General Don Dunbar, adjutant general of the Wisconsin National Guard, said that Wisconsin is one of the most well prepared states in the US when we talk about handling crisis. The state has huge experience with handling real life emergencies like floods and tornados, but they need creating the same bulletproof plan for Internet security.

In order to achieve this goal the Wisconsin National Guard is organizing the second Wisconsin Cyber Security Summit held at Marquette University helped by Wisconsin’s Emergency Management Council, where Don Dunbar is the chairman as well. The main topic of this summit is to educate and prepare businesses, individuals and government officials how to handle with cyberattacks.

Some of the experts that will be a part of the conference include Rami Efrati and Austin Berglas. Efrati was a part of the Israel National Cyber Bureau. The Israeli government is hailed of having some of the most quality security protocols in the world. Berglas on the other hand represents FBI’s cyber security department.

How to respond to emergencies

One of the most important thing when addressing cyber-attacks is to respond as quickly as possible after they arise. That’s why Wisconsin will form a response group for cyber emergencies. The group will be created with full coordination between federal workers and representatives of crucial industries and establishments in Wisconsin.

The goal of this group is to quickly react on cyber-attacks as they occur. It’s not possible to prevent all attacks from happening, but it is very important to reduce the consequences. Michigan has already implemented a similar project with the same goal called Alphaville.

Alphaville is a part of a bigger project where the state of Michigan tried to implement “cyber ranges” in order to be more aware of cyber-attacks in real time. Alphaville is a system that represents a simulating virtual community for services provided by municipalities and businesses.

Human errors and attempts to penetrate an emerging market by businesses has resulted with huge loss of customer data. Hackers are no longer focused on just embarrassing companies after they hack their website. Today the illegal market for customer’s personal data has evolved and cyber-attacks of this nature happen more often.

Systems like Alphaville are used by companies and state organizations to exercise their response to cyber-attacks. Internet security habits will be the main topic at this year’s summit in Wisconsin. Security Mentor Incorporated, company that will be a part of the summit, has made a research about individual online habits that showed how more than 30% of people leave their mobile device unattended in their vehicle, have opened a link sent to them by unknown source and use the exact same password both on work and at home.

Hackers are getting more sophisticated, so should you

Some of the techniques used by hackers have been present in the online environment for years now. Data phishing by masking trusted sources is as old as the Internet itself. Security agencies and companies are always developing new solutions in order to prevent this, but the problem is that hackers learn new ways as well.

Hackers are starting to develop really valuable-looking content with the links they send to your mail. It’s not only a shady looking link with only couple of lines of text. You will see messages that have been spell-checked and include some really cool graphics or some other value adding content. That’s why the individual that’s sitting in front of the computer (yep, that’s you) is becoming the weakest link in the security chain.

It’s generally the same attacks in new clothing. Phishing hasn’t really changed much over the last 10 years, but it’s getting more sophisticated

The attackers are spell-checking before they send their email, and they’re starting to use graphics that look more valid, so that people will click on them.

Then your computer has an agent on it that’s calling back to the mother ship, so to speak. It can control your computer and use it for nefarious reasons, or it can harvest your passwords and other private information.

That’s why only one layer of security isn’t enough anymore. Firewalls and antiviruses are helpless when you unknowingly allow hackers to breach your security. Using VPNs and cloud storage networks for system backup is getting more eminent than ever.

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