UTICA, NY (WUTR) – May 7 ransomware attack on colonial pipeline renewed national attention on importance of cybersecurity as one of the nation’s largest gas pipelines was forced to pay 5 millions of dollars to their attackers to regain access to their systems.
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The attack shed more light on the vulnerability of people and businesses to cyberattacks, but there are ways in which businesses and local residents can protect themselves and their data.
“People can protect themselves by actually examining communications and requests for confidential information and checking email and making sure it really comes from someone,” explains Tony Martino, director of the Northeast Cyber Forensics Center. of Utica College. “You need to make sure that the entities you do business with are trusted, use large websites run by well-known companies that have sound security policies in place.”
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Last week, a malware attack on RPI shut down the school’s servers and disrupted the finals. Students and teachers lost access to their emails, school websites, canteen money and wifi accounts. Martino says ransomware attacks are becoming more common and are happening in our gardens.
“Certainly, in our region there are entities that have had ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity attacks,” Martino said. “We are not immune to this in any way, form or form.”
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Martino also explained that the most common mistakes people make are answering fraudulent text messages and emails. “These fraudulent communications try to push people to act quickly. There is often a sense of urgency and a threat of negative consequences if they don’t and that’s where so many people make mistakes.”