YSU expert breaks down how to keep your devices safe from cyber attacks

Local News

Yukech calls the attack on the operator of the Colonial Pipeline an act of cyber terrorism.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Although the cyberattack against an oil pipeline company is dominating the headlines, the man in charge of IT at Youngstown State University believes we have all been victims of computer hacking in one form or another.

“These threats are constant for all companies. Not just YSU but all companies,” said YSU’s Chief Information Officer Jim Yukech.

Yukech calls the attack on the operator of the Colonial Pipeline an act of cyber terrorism.

“Because they transact millions or billions of dollars, they’re a big target,” Yukech said.

He said not even the university has been immune.

“We had a compromised account and they got into payroll. We caught it before it made damage in our payroll run,” Yukech said.

Yukech says hackers have become more and more sophisticated over the years. He said hackers, some now funded and supported by foreign governments, are often phishing for that one account they can compromise.

“What we’re finding now, they’re trying to hack leaders of a company, compromise their accounts, send emails to subordinates, then subordinates are like, ‘Oh, this is from my boss,”‘ Yukech said.

Many larger companies are now turning to what’s called “multi-factor authentication” to stop hackers. Yukech says YSU will be initiating it later this year.

“For now, it’s sort of the Holy Grail when it comes to cyber security,” he said.

To protect your own devises, Yukech says there are plenty of anti-virus programs on the market. Some are even offered by internet providers.

He says the best advice is to avoid opening anything you don’t recognize or anything that’s unsolicited.

“Don’t even click on anything from anybody that you even sense is not legitimate, like any inkling of it,” said Yukech.

He also said to never give up your credentials.

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