‘Cyberwar’ is leaving everyday people exposed, experts give tips to stay safe

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A string of cyber-security attacks has been impacting commercial businesses and driving up the prices of things we buy every day. But what can business and you sitting at home do to protect yourself?

“We’re actually in the middle of cyberwar and what makes it a cyberwar is these attacks are taking place against things that impact our everyday lives,” said Paul Robinson, national sales direct IGI cybersecurity.

Just this year, a ransomware attack shut down the Colonial Pipeline, forcing the company to pay 5 million and sending gas prices up. A similar attack shut down nearly all meatpacking facilities for one of the largest US food companies.

Robison believes with more companies doing business online, the risk for cyber-attacks has increased.

“The criminals are definitely becoming more brazen in the attacks that they are conducting,” said Robinson.

But it is not just cyberattacks, hundreds of Wegman’s customer’s data was exposed in a recent data breach due to a configuration issue according to the company.

“You have to be prepared for the when it happens not what if and organizations really need to prepare that way. So when it happens, what do we do, how do we recover data quickly,” said Robinson.

More people are also working from home, which RIT lecturer Jonathan Weissman says comes with more vulnerabilities. He suggests improving your personal cybersecurity using antimalware software and Virtual private networks. 

“Always do the security updates for your operating systems, programs, and browsers to mitigate the vulnerabilities cybercriminals might be exploiting,” said Jonathan S. Weissman, Senior Lecturer Dept Computing and security.

Weissman also suggests creating long, unique passwords and to never use the same password for multiple sites.

*Correction: An early version of this article included a suggestion to change passwords frequently, which Weissman believes is counter-productive.

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