San Diego

Experts Weigh in on Biggest Threat to Cyber Security

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, a national movement to promote cyber awareness and methods to protect yourself on the internet. 

A recent survey by Munich RE shows that 90 percent of U.S. businesses have suffered a hacking incident. 

"The biggest threat we see at the moment is ransomware, said Stephen Cobb, CISSP, Senior Security Researcher at ESET in San Diego. "That's an attack that encrypts your files, scrambles sthem up and demands money to unscramble them." 

Cobb said this can be a problem for individuals and businesses. Hospitals are particularly vulnerable, because they need their data right away during medical emergencies. 

"If you are regularly backing up all of your files, then you can recover the information from the backup," added Cobb. He recommends backing up to a secure hard drive. 

Thursday ESET set up a booth in Little Italy, quizzing people on their knowledge of cyber security best practices. 

Cobb added there are vulnerabilities for people traveling too. For example, just because a hotel has a password-required WiFi system does not necessarily mean it is secure. 

"I've checked into hotels and been able to see other people's computers just like that, without hacking," said Cobb. 

Cobb also said it is important to always update your computer and smart phone consistently.

Just because your device has never had a virus does not mean it is clear from hacking incidents. Bugs are often patched through new software updates and vulnerabilites can be solved, Cobb added. 

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