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Cybersecurity: Steps to protect your personal information as Russia wages war in Ukraine

There are warnings going out to people in the US to be aware of cyberattacks.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions put in place by the US and Europe have many people believing that Putin will strike back with online assaults.

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News Center 7′s Mike Campbell spoke with a local network service provider about what you can do to protect your business and even your home computer systems from cyberattacks.

Jack Gerbs is CEO of Quanexus, where they provide IT services for small and medium size businesses across the Miami Valley.

While Putin may be the enemy everyone thinks of, cyber attacks launched by state sponsors, like him, or simply by criminals, often use our own instincts against us.

“You need to trust your spider sense, if something doesn’t feel right, take a breath and think before you click on anything,” Gerbs said.

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Cyber attackers make their attack seem like something you need to know, badly.

“Especially with criminals as crafty as they are, they create things that create a sense of urgency,” Gerbs said.

Gerbs worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force base for more than eight years before starting his company.

He said any department of defense target could be high priority for cyber attacks, but they have dedicated defenders teams.

Businesses are not the same because the goal is to make money.

“Investing tools to prevent cyberattacks does not create shareholder return,” Gerbs said.

Gerbs believes that attitude is changing.

Here’s what individuals and businesses can do to provide a decent defense:

  • Make sure their systems are patched and updated, make sure they have anti-virus protection and make sure you have strong passwords.
  • Higher-priority targets, government or big businesses are turning to things like end point detection systems, next generation Firewalls and making sure they have strong end user training programs.

“Users need to know how to respond when something goes wrong, even if they caused something wrong, they can’t be scared to admit and stop a small thing from becoming a huge thing,” Gerbs said.

Gerbs says the problem in most cases ends up being that end-user are too often in a hurry to click on something on our phone or open something on our laptop before making sure its from a known or reliable person or organization.

He also says that you cant stop every cyberattack, but by putting defenses in place, in multiple layers, you can often convince would-be hackers that it’s too much work and they will move on to what they consider an easier target.