With cybercrime increasing, Liberty University expert urges protection of personal, professional information

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Cyber-attacks have been affecting all of us lately, causing costly disturbances among big businesses and individuals.

Liberty University is known to have one of the best cyber-security programs in the country.

Recent studies show that around six million accounts are hacked each day and businesses can fall victim to ransomware attacks within seconds.

“In the case of the Colonial Pipeline or the JBS Meat Company, their systems are so complex that it just takes one little hole for the bad guys to get into and then from there, they can start making drastic changes to companies’ financial statements, infrastructure or ransomware.”

Dr. Mike Lehrfeld, Executive Director for the Center for Cyber Excellence

Liberty University’s Dr. Mike Lehrfeld says that ransomware is a new reality and that businesses – and people – need to be able to handle it.

“Cybercriminal organizations are extremely complex,” Lehrfeld said. “They have large funded organizations. It’s almost like a normal person, you or I, going into work from nine to five. That’s the way it works in these criminal organizations, except their job is to find vulnerabilities and exploit those.”

Once someone gains access to one, they can easily access everything.

Dr. Lehrfeld says it is not a matter of “if” but “when” someone else will try and compromise your accounts, information, or money.

“‘Are there a lot of bad guys?’ Absolutely. ‘Are there enough good guys?’ Not at all,” Dr. Lehrfeld said.

He mentions that if you’ve already started seeing suspicious activity on an account, immediately reset the password.

If you believe you have fallen victim to a cybercrime, you can report it to the local police or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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