Cyber-security experts share tips to Buffalo businesses

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HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Better Business Bureau wants Western New York businesses to know they could be at risk for future a cyber attack.

On Friday, the world was hit by a massive cyber-attack, the effects of which are continuing to spread.

News 4 told you about that piece of ransom-ware called “WannaCry” that paralyzed businesses in virtually every country on earth. We spoke with cyber security leaders who say, for businesses, protecting your cyber health has now become a matter of life or death.

Cyber security experts like Allan Griffin with At&T are trying to figure out how this ransom-ware attack happened. He said, “They are still trying to recover who did what, where, when and why. It’s really a giant game of cat and mouse. We are constantly chasing the bad guys with new tools and new capabilities.”

The attack exposed major shortcomings around the world to cyber-security. He said, “A lot of organizations may have been impacted, and they have no idea.”

The Department of Homeland Security says, as many as 85% of targeted cyber-attacks are preventable. Through a Better Business Bureau conference, area businesses learn how to protect themselves. Griffin said, “No matter how big or small, back up your data. If you haven’t done a back up recently, do it. Do it today. The second thing is, patch and update your systems.”

In this “wanna cry” attack, Britain’s national health service was hit hard. Here at home ECMC is still using paper records after a massive data breach shut down their computer system. Griffin said, “There are not just financial ramifications, but life and death kind of ramifications.”

Buffalo’s own William Palisano started his business 25 years ago. His company, Lincoln Archives, stores and destroys data for other local businesses. Now his services are needed more now than ever. He said ransom-ware hacks are happening here at home, all the time. He said, “People that get hit like that, they’re embarrassed they don’t want to reveal they were hit, because what it says is they weren’t prepared and nobody wants to be looked at as unprepared.”

If there’s a positive outcome that’s come out of this data hack, local businesses and organizations are now investing in cyber protection.

Planning for these scenarios and putting safety measures in place may sound expensive, But as this latest ransom ware hack has demonstrated, leaders say the cost of not preparing for them can be far higher.

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