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Top cybersecurity expert speaks in Bend

by mda-web01 | 9th October 2012

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., hosted a cybersecurity workshop Monday at OSU-Cascades, and participants heard from an expert on recent trends in computer threats against small businesses and how to protect themselves.

“Threats from cyberattacks can affect everyone,” Walden said. Walden knows the threat, from individuals paying their bills online to small businesses and their accounts — everyone can be affected by outside groups trying to take their money. “I thought people need to know this, –they need to hear this,” Walden said.

Walden invited top cybersecurity expert Bill Conner, the CEO of Entrust, to talk to small business owners on how to protect from emerging threats. “Businesses need to start with simple things like firewalls and (anti-virus software) and keep it current,” Conner said. But that’s not enough. “They are going to have to work to limit the access, if they are doing online transactions,” Conner said. “So you have something set up that’s dedicated to do that. And you’re not doing a lot of e-mail on it, you’re not web surfing. I would recommend not even having USBs.” Some data indicate that there’s five times as much American intellectual property stolen from computers as the data that exists in the Library of Congress.Walden gave an example of a local health care professional who told him about having a thousand attacks on their Website each day.

“A lot of people don’t know they are being attacked, and the information is important to get out there that this is a threat from organized crime, internationally and from same nation states,” Walden said. Walden recently helped pass legislation to enable the government and small business to share info about cyberthreats without hurting companies. The topic is so important that Crook County and the Department of Homeland Security are holding a cybersecurity summit on Friday Nov. 2 at the Crook County COCC Open Campus.

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