By J. E. Henry, CEO IT 4 the Planet
Wow, what a year we have faced! Who would have believed we would face and endure a major Pandemic where millions of people stayed home because we were shut down. The Pandemic put tremendous pressure on Information Technology (IT) organizations to equip company employees to be able to effectively work from home and for schools and universities to be able to function at a reasonably high level. There were many success stories and certainly a few “bumps in the road”. Overall, as I mentioned, we all endured.
As employees transition back to the office setting, IT is still shuffling with the demand or new and creative ways to support their company’s mission. Overall, I would say that IT did a great job through the Pandemic and there is a new appreciation for the tech teams.
Going forward from here the challenges are immense and the demand for IT innovation is through the roof. One thing is certainly profound and that is hackers never took a break from their evil ways during the Pandemic. The number of Cyber attacks have increased dramatically and most organizations are looking for ways to put up more fences to help avoid an attack.
The world faces over 100,000 malicious websites and 10,000 malicious files daily. Phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents. Google has registered over 2 million phishing sites as of January 2021 – this is up from 1.7 million in January 2020, which equates to a 27% increase in 12 months.
The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware attack really hit home with many people in the southern US experienced gas shortages….fortunately the shortages only lasted a few days.
Security solutions and spending will continue to increase dramatically because of the barrage of Cyber attacks. Organizations will be increasing security budgets and looking for support from vendors who are “keen” on security solutions, process, procedures and standards.
The FBI is proactively working with many entities to help fight the attacks. Here is info from the FBI web site that might prove helpful:
The Cyber Threat
Malicious cyber activity threatens the public’s safety and our national and economic security. The FBI’s cyber strategy is to impose risk and consequences on cyber adversaries. Our goal is to change the behavior of criminals and nation-states who believe they can compromise U.S. networks, steal financial and intellectual property, and put critical infrastructure at risk without facing risk themselves. To do this, we use our unique mix of authorities, capabilities, and partnerships to impose consequences against our cyber adversaries.
The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyber attacks and intrusions. We collect and share intelligence and engage with victims while working to unmask those committing malicious cyber activities, wherever they are.
What You Should Know
- Taking the right security measures and being alert and aware when connected are key ways to prevent cyber intrusions and online crimes. Learn how to protect your computer, network, and personal information.
Understand Common Crimes and Risks Online
- Business e-mail compromise (BEC)scams exploit the fact that so many of us rely on e-mail to conduct business—both personal and professional—and it’s one of the most financially damaging online crimes.
- Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, like your Social Security number, and uses it to commit theft or fraud.
- Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return.
- Spoofing and phishing are schemes aimed at tricking you into providing sensitive information to scammers.
- Online predators are a growing threat to young people.
- More common crimes and scams
Respond and Report
File a Report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center If you are the victim of online or internet-enabled crime, file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) as soon as possible. Crime reports are used for investigative and intelligence purposes. Rapid reporting can also help support the recovery of lost funds. Visit ic3.gov for more information, including tips and information about current crime trends.
Contact Your FBI Field Office
Combating the Evolving Cyber Threat
Our adversaries look to exploit gaps in our intelligence and information security networks. The FBI is committed to working with our federal counterparts, our foreign partners, and the private sector to close those gaps.
These partnerships allow us to defend networks, attribute malicious activity, sanction bad behavior, and take the fight to our adversaries overseas. The FBI fosters this team approach through unique hubs where government, industry, and academia form long-term trusted relationships to combine efforts against cyber threats.
Within government, that hub is the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF). The FBI leads this task force of more than 30 co-located agencies from the Intelligence Community and law enforcement. The NCIJTF is organized around mission centers based on key cyber threat areas and led by senior executives from partner agencies. Through these mission centers, operations and intelligence are integrated for maximum impact against U.S. adversaries.
Only together can we achieve safety, security, and confidence in a digitally connected world.
How We Work
Whether through developing innovative investigative techniques, using cutting-edge analytic tools, or forging new partnerships in our communities, the FBI continues to adapt to meet the challenges posed by the evolving cyber threat.
- The FBI has specially trained cyber squads in each of our 56 field offices, working hand-in-hand with interagency task force partners.
- The rapid-response Cyber Action Team can deploy across the country within hours to respond to major incidents.
- With cyber assistant legal attachés in embassies across the globe, the FBI works closely with our international counterparts to seek justice for victims of malicious cyber activity.
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) collects reports of Internet crime from the public. Using such complaints, the IC3’s Recovery Asset Team has assisted in freezing hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of cyber crime.
- CyWatch is the FBI’s 24/7 operations center and watch floor, providing around-the-clock support to track incidents and communicate with field offices across the country.
IT 4 the Planet has the expertise and support needed to help understand and manage Security related issues. If you need help, give us a call.