FBI urges individuals and companies to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity

    MIDDLETON, Wis. The FBI keeps a close eye on cybersecurity threats, but agents Wednesday morning stressed that in order for them to be more proactive in their prevention, they need the help of both individuals and companies.

    At a special roundtable in Middleton, Wisconsin Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Michael Hensel pushed for greater public participation as cyberattacks continued to grow exponentially. .

    According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, in the last year alone, Americans lost nearly $2.4 billion to compromised email-related attacks, and companies reported a loss of 49, $2 million for ransomware attacks.

    “It’s something that we don’t anticipate slowing down, it’s going to continue to grow,” Hensel said. “It’s definitely something that’s here to stay, and it’s something that awareness plays a big part in protecting.”

    Hensel and his agents are asking people and companies to practice what the FBI calls “Good Cyber ​​Hygiene.”

    That means things like two-factor authentication, data backups, never trusting email for instructions on the payment wiring, and being aware of the latest threats and trends.

    Hensel recommends that people contact the FBI as soon as possible, in part because in some cases if an attack is reported within 24-48 hours, there’s a good chance the FBI will get your money back.

    Reporting those attacks can also help investigators establish patterns between victims and attackers around the country, he said, so they can better focus on prevention.

    “If you yourself are a victim or a company is being victimized, chances are it is being done in California, in New York or Florida,” he said.

    He also said while they will always prioritize national security and critical infrastructure, no concern is too small.

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