MN Expert: Cyber Attacks Rising, Target Small Businesses

Updated: 06/11/2013 8:24 AM By: Josh Rosenthal

Cyber espionage is a hot topic nationally right now, but it doesn't just impact governments and big business.

According to Minnesota's first chief information officer, if you use the Internet - on your computer or mobile device - you could be a cyber attack target.

"We know when the flood is going to arrive, the season. We know tornado season, but we quite, we can never predict the cyber attack season. That's why we as citizens need to be vigilant," said Gopal Khanna, who is also the founder of the state's Cyber Security Summit.

According to a Symantec internet security threat report: there was a 42 percent increase of targeted cyber attacks in 2012 compared to 2011.

Small businesses were the target of 31 percent of all attacks, which is three times the 2011 number. Also, Symantec's report says mobile malware increased by 58 percent in 2012.

"We live in a mobile world. The workplace is mobile," explained Khanna. "a very large percentage of us carry mobile devices, and they all can be hacked because they use the internet."

To help protect your computer from cyber attacks, federal government website has a few recommendations.

They include using security software that updates automatically, only giving out personal information over encrypted websites, and creating strong passwords.

Click here to learn more about how to protect yourself and your business from cyber attacks.