Cyber Security for small businesses focus of workshop

MARQUETTE — When it comes to cyber security, hackers don’t discriminate who they steal from.

Just three years ago, hackers infiltrated Target and gained access to credit and debit card information of more than 40 million customers. Since that breach, businesses across the country have beefed up their online security.

Businesses from around the Marquette area gathered at the Holiday Inn this morning for a Cyber Security Workshop hosted by River Valley Bank. The presentation focused on the types of cyber attacks that businesses are seeing and how to deal with them.

One of the top ways hackers are successful is by simply sending an email.

“The most common attacks usually come in some form of email with an attachment or link inside of them. Then a lot of them are in the form of ransomware, where it’s encrypting a device and holding the device for ransom, trying to get the end user to fork over some money to get their information back,” said Ben Potaracke, IT Director at EO Johnson.

“The small and medium sized businesses are just as susceptible to attacks that are out there and they’re a lot easier because there are so many more of them out there,” Johnson added.

“With our online banking services, we definitely uphold the highest standards,” said Christian Palomaki, Market Vice President at River Valley Bank. “We offer a lot of different things to our cash management services, so things like Positive Pay and ACH blocks and filters. These are things businesses can use to protect their account from being hijacked.”

Over 40 different businesses attended the workshop. To raise even more awareness about safe practices online, the month of October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.