During a cybersecurity seminar hosted by Pearl Technology on Tuesday, October 17, local business owners were given an in-depth look at how cyberattacks work, what these devastating attacks can cost a business, and what businesses can do to prevent them from happening.
From DDOS attacks to ransomware, attendees learned about how cyberattackers operate, as well as what they generally target. But FBI agents said businesses are especially susceptible to one specific cyber threat.
"As far as trends are concerned, I think we're seeing more and more business emails compromised in phishing campaigns," the FBI agents said. "…The spear phishing campaigns are becoming more and more popular."
It's critical for modern businesses to educate users on how to recognize phishing campaigns and prevent them before they can cause any damage, but that knowledge seems to be lacking.
"The single biggest issue is not something technical—it's ignorance," the agents said. "…Whether it's technical, whether it's social engineering, any sort of attack depends on the lack of awareness, the lack of preparedness by the users and the administrators. So, not being aware of particular threats allows for the bad guys to do what they do.
"If everybody was to be, ideally, perfectly aware of all possible threats, all avenues, there would be absolutely no possibility of being exploited, but it's just not possible. So, the more prepared you are, the more informed, the better."
In a time when cyberattacks are constant headlines in the news, it's refreshing to see business owners take an active interest in cybersecurity events, such as Pearl Technology's seminar.
"It's a sigh of relief because it's absolutely necessary," the agents said. "There's no way that anybody could not get interested in this because we are all affected. If we have any device that's connected to the Internet, we are vulnerable and the bad guys want that content. So, anybody who's not paying attention to that is just leaving themselves open to be exploited."
"If they're onto it, great; they need to be. If they're more proactive, even better, but simply trying to sweep it under the rug and think you won't get victimized or think that it won't be a problem? Not a solution."