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Cyber Threats by FBI Special Agent, John Bonhage

Hello Friends!

Agent John Bonhage was the keynote speaker at a recent event I attended. The information he delivered was so important for you to know that I had to devote this newsletter to it’s content.
Here are just some of the statistics he cited:

  • Domestically speaking, there are over 1000 employees who work for Google whose only assignment is to listen to bits of conversation coming from Alexa Smart Home Device, so unplug when you’re not using it.
  • Senior Executives in any company are 12X more likely to be victims of security hack than other employees, due to their higher level access to sensitive information.
  • Infant monitoring cameras are being hacked and infant Social Security numbers are being stolen and sold on the dark web now more than ever.
  • The Chinese government has people working full time attempting to hack into US corporate and privately held companies to steal Intellectual Property and anything that can help them grow as a larger super power. Their “Talent Program” recruits American citizens to steal technology and other valuable IP for their “Comprehensive National Strategy”. This information comes straight from FBI intelligence. China’s main motivator is patriotism and power. Russia’s and Iran’s on the other hand, are motivated by greed. All three groups are at the top of the most dangerous list, because they’re the most active in Cyber related crime.
  • Even if your systems are protected with good firewall and malware programs, your vendors who have access to your systems may not be. Make sure your vendors can prove they are protected. 
  • Use 2 Factor or Multi Factor authorization whenever possible. US Companies at the top of the hacking list: Netflix, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Amazon, Google, Facebook to name a few.

FBI Cyber Attack Statistics:

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a major problem. 40% of all SPAM is Ransomware related.
  • 70% of companies PAID to get their systems back. Unfortunately, Ransomware causes 1 in 5 companies to shut down since they lack the resources to pay the ransom. There are 5 known Ransomware programs for sale online, for thieves to buy and use. 
  • The average MN company paid $83,000 in ransom to get their systems unlocked from attackers. 

Agent Bonhage said it’s not a matter of IF you will be a victim, but when. What can you do? 

  • Use effective Back Up systems and security software. 
  • Have your systems tested by an IT company who can ‘audit’ them to see how vulnerable you are. 
  • If you become a victim of Ransomware, contact the FBI immediately. If you have money stolen via wire transfer you can usually stop it by contacting your bank, if it’s within 3 days of the wire. 
  • Go to infragard.org to see if your business qualifies to be added to their protection list. 

https://www.infragard.org/Application/General/NewApplication

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Protect yourself and your company. If you have a need for IT Service let me know; I have a few good recommendations for you. 

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