WNYT.com

Cybersecurity urged to stop hackers

Posted at: 01/28/2013 6:04 PM
Updated at: 01/28/2013 6:14 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

ALBANY - The need to beef up our cyber security is critical to protect businesses and Internet users from web attacks.

That was the key message at a briefing by cyber experts Monday, at Excelsior College. The event was held on what's known as "Data Privacy Day" across the nation, a time devoted to raise awareness of how to control the digital footprints we leave online.

"There are bad people out there, in this country and other countries that will do anything and everything to exploit you," said Daniel Alfin, Special Agent, FBI.

"We're all out there on our phones, buying this buying that, doling this doing that. changing our heat when you're out we've got to know what we're doing and be aware that
not everybody is necessarily our friend," said Dr. Jane LeClair, Dean of the Excelsior College School of Business and Technology.

The Federal government is also sounding the alarm. The Pentagon confirmed in news reports this weekend that it will increase it's cybersecurity force five fold, up to 4000 specialists, in order to protect the nation's infrastructure and power grids from hackers.

Elfin said the FBI is concentrated on keeping cyber terrorists mainly located overseas from infiltrating businesses or agencies and shutting them down.

With 65-percent of Smartphone users performing retail or shopping on their devices, he also said it's important to limit the information you disclose.

"The last four digits of your social security number, your mother's maiden name, the high school you went to, things like that, when they're asking for more information that they should have on any website, that should set off a warning in your head," Alfin said.

Excelsior College also trains students for degree programs to become cybersecurity professionals, saying there's a 22-percent growth in demand for that expertise. Starting salaries can range from $55-70,000 annually.