Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cybersecurity Threats Grow More Complex, Experts Say

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cybersecurity Threats Grow More Complex, Experts Say

Article excerpt

TULSA - The global threat to cybersecurity is growing more complex and advanced, two information security experts said.

"We are not talking about your bank account information being stolen," said Fred Menge, president and managing director of Tulsa- based Magnir Group Inc.

From baby monitors to water treatment plants, everything is vulnerable to attack, said Kevin Haley, director of product management for Symantec Security Response.

Haley, who is based in Los Angeles, was in Tulsa last week during the Tech Junction conference at the Warren Place DoubleTree Hotel.

Haley said targeted attacks on companies using all kinds of devices that operate via the Internet have made headlines.

Menge agreed, saying that security was an afterthought when the Internet was created.

"Many organizations are using Band-Aid security solutions to a major problem," Menge said.

If a hacker tampered with a digital device at a water plant, he could potentially create havoc with an entire city's water supply.

"SCADA systems are used throughout the country for critical infrastructure for oil and gas and water," Menge said, referring to remote supervisory control and data acquisition systems. "If they are hacked, it could cause a major disruption."

Much like a home, there are several ways to get inside a company, Menge said.

"You use locks on doors and windows to protect yourself from intruders, a company has to protect its computer assets using firewalls," Menge said. "But, if you leave a window open or door unlocked, it creates an entry point to the house; so, too, when a port is left open in the firewall."

Haley agreed, adding that companies throw all kinds of money at the problem.

"But the hackers just have to get it right once, you have to get it right every time," Haley said. "The prevailing sentiment is that businesses have to prevent an attack from succeeding, but they also have to be prepared when it happens. …

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