Cybersecurity experts weigh in on JBS hack

JBS said it invests $200 million annually on IT, yet it was still the victim of ransomware
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Cyber criminals are targeting hospitals, local schools, and businesses.

Action 2 News has been following the JBS ransomware attack that disrupted the meat processing plant last week until the company reportedly paid $11 million to hackers to avoid any disruption to its supply chain.

As the company continues to investigate how it was infiltrated, JBS said it invests $200 million on IT.

According to security experts Action 2 News interviewed, money alone won’t protect businesses. It’s important to train employees on how to avoid cyber attacks, especially over email.

“I can lock down all the computer systems in the world but if I have a user that clicks on a link or downloads a program that maybe they shouldn’t have, sometimes that’s going to bypass all of our systems,” Ryan Van Scyoc, an IT systems security instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, said.

Gaurav Bansal is an information systems professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and he said hackers spend months studying a company and how to best infiltrate it.

“So that they can find that one Friday, 4:30 p.m. is a good time to send an email to an employee posing as the [Chief Executive Office],” Bansal said.

His solution is there needs to be less distraction in the work place as a way to help employees be more focused and pick up on these type of attempts.

“You can spend all the money in the world in IT infrastructure, but what about the employee? And that needs to basically change in mindset, that needs a change in work culture,” Bansal said.

Both NWTC and UWGB offer programs in cybersecurity, which is considered a growing field for those seeking employment. Sycoc said his employed-graduates ask these questions of their respective colleagues when they are training them to gauge how protected they are online.

“What length your password should be? Should you have back ups? What do you do when you get an email, a suspicious looking email? How do you report that?”

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