Staying one step ahead of cyber crime

From fingerprints and footprints to DNA, investigators evolved to keep up with intruders and thieves. But how do you defend against the criminal who steals your data without setting foot in your building?

As more of our business and life takes place in zeros and ones, how do we keep others from having our number?

Those who make a living staying ahead of cybercriminals believe there is safety in numbers, if we get better at pooling resources and sharing information.

Leadership Birmingham and Tech Birmingham recently sponsored a Cyber Security panel, hosted at Alabama Power‘s corporate headquarters in Birmingham. More than 100 people participated in the greater discussion, which included law enforcement, government and corporate experts in online security.

Cyber SecurityOne of the major themes was education – simply put, more individuals need to understand how critical it is to avoid being the weak link. An employees unsecured wireless router at home can be the unlocked entry to sensitive corporate data.

“If you’re educating people, you have to personalize it,” said retired U.S. Army Gen. Ronald Burgess, who still counsels federal national security agencies. “Make sure they understand how it can impact them, and what the ramifications are – the second and third order effects.”

While employee education is important, there was also a recognition that corporate citizens need to better share what they see and hear.

Cyber Security1Joyce Vance, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, moderated the discussion. As the top federal law enforcement officer in the area (and an avowed technology fan), Vance wants to see coordination on both the government and corporate sides.

“We need to all jointly talk about what you do before an attack – what you do during an attack – what you do after an attack, and how should you interface with the government when that attack occurs,” Vance said.


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