Battling cyber threats

“It’s a major issue really word wide.”

And it’s one that’s emerging in the county. Cyber threats are becoming more common and they could hit Aroostook County at any time.

“It affects everything from power, to finance, and business and people at home.”

This week cyber security experts are putting on classes for anyone interested in learning more about cyber-attacks.

“Our program, we focus specifically on cyber security. Specifically what we call community cyber security. So we talk about what could go wrong if someone is to launch a cyber-attack on say the power grid or our water infrastructure or a number of businesses throughout the community.”

Michael Sevier is one of the cyber security instructors. He says people need to be using and updating security ware and software protection. It’s also important to have intricate passwords that differ from all your accounts.

“Hackers are always looking for new ways to get in and they are trying to circumvent every system out there so we’re continuing to have to update things and get new procedures and stuff to just combat what they’re doing.”

The goal for the classes is to teach those in attendance to put together a plan before any type of attack should happen.

“A wide variety of attackers from bored teenager up through a nation state that could be launching these attacks and all for various reasons. Latest trend is what we call ransom wear, where people will go in and steal or they’ll lock your data and hold it for ransom saying already we’ll give you your information back if you can us x amount of money.”

Even though the county may be small, it’s not immune to cyber-attacks.

“People in Aroostook tend to think we’re more protected because we’re so rural but you know the cyber threat is everywhere and it could hit us just as easy as anywhere else and we are just as venerable and just as susceptible to a cyber-attack.”

Cyber security instructors say attacks are almost inevitable to happen, that’s why it’s important to plan your protection now before it’s to late.