There are one million unfilled cybersecurity jobs now and by 2021 there will be 3.5 million as cybercrime is expected to triple. Demand for these positions will explode, says Jay Ryerse, chief technology officer at Continuum Managed Services in Pennsylvania, noting the prevalence of computers in just about everything these days, from cars to refrigerators.
That was part of the eye-opening look at the risks posed by a lack of effective cyber security during an IT security seminar held earlier this year by PCG-IT and Seacoast Business Machines. Ryerse started his presentation with a video of a reporter at a security conference, who interviewed several hackers to show how easy it is to access the reporter’s information.
In the video, a hacker called the reporter’s cell phone provider with the sound of a crying baby in the background, and she told a frantic and convincing tale of woe. She was granted full access to the reporter’s account. A second hacker, knowing in advance about the interview, had virtually entered the reporter’s home computer days before and activated the camera remotely.
“Roughly 64 percent of attacks are aimed at small businesses,” Ryerse says. “The attacks are not made public and aren’t considered newsworthy, so people may not be ware of how big the problem is.”
The most common cyber attack involves hackers infiltrating a network, locking up the data and demanding payment, often in bitcoin, to release it.
Dave Hodgdon, founder and CEO of PCG-IT, whose firm provides IT and computer support from locations in Manchester, Dover, Portsmouth and Portland, Maine, says these ransomware attacks are targeting cities and businesses alike.
Hodgdon says the ramifications can extend beyond the loss or theft of data as companies could be found liable for violating federal regulations, such as the health care privacy act, HIPAA, if sensitive data is accessed.
Eric Miltner, director of business development at Seacoast Business Machines, which provides multi-functional copiers and managed print services from locations in Barrington, Portsmouth and Manchester, says businesses need to look beyond email scams and identify network-level threats. Copiers and printers can be hacked, allowing a bad player access to “secure” networks.