Local companies increase security in light of global cyber attacks

It’s being called the biggest cyber attack of all time. Infecting hundreds of thousands of systems in nearly 100 countries. Targeting businesses and agencies, hijacking information and demanding cash for it’s safe return.

“As soon as I heard about it, I was getting ready, even on the weekend, I was going to check in, and then I saw an email come out from our IT Department,” say General Manager of Lansing’s Board of Water and Light, Dick Peffley.

Peffley knows what can happen from a ransom-ware attack all too well.

Just last year, a ransom-ware virus disrupted the company’s network. The utility was forced to pay $25,000 to restore it’s internal corporate communications systems.

“Our IT staff is really watching our network right now so that we don’t get into a problem like we had last year,” says Peffley.

Peffley says, BWL sent out an email to all employees this morning, informing them of the potential threat, and to take extra precautions when online.

According to cyber security experts, it can all start by a simple email.

“What they do, is they get onto your computer and encrypt just the data files, ya know, your word documents, your email documents, your excel spreadsheets, that kind of thing,” says Michigan State University Associate Professor of Computer Science, Richard Enbody.

Ingham County also had a similar cyber-security issue just two weeks ago, but with malware.

“We think an employee clicked on that link, and then began the malware infection of our system,” says Ingham County Controller, Tim Dolehanty.

Dolehanty says, the virus seeking financial information quickly spread between machines belonging to government officials.

An issue, that had to be addressed on each computer individually.

However, Dolehanty says, they got lucky and no data was compromised in the attack.

Dolehanty has since updated each computer’s software and has made sure his IT Department is trained on what to do in case a ransomware attack occurs.

For more tips on how to stay safe: http://wlns.com/2017/05/15/tips-to-keep-your-information-safe-from-hackers/

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