LANSING, Mich. (MIRS News) – In providing an update to members of the House Energy and Technology Committee Wednesday morning, a panel of cyber security experts painted a scary picture of the fast-changing landscape of cyber security threats.
“Just to frame the level of conversation, and this is a scary statistic, at the State of Michigan, in our environment alone, we’re blocking nearly 90 million malicious intrusions per day,” said Laura Clark, chief information officer at the Department of Technology and Budget.
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Clark said the times have changed in how openly the state talks about cyber security threats.
“If you listen to the news regularly, cyber security is now a household word,” she said. “This is not something we talked about openly in the media five years ago when I started in this position.”
Despite batting down 90 million malicious intrusions per day, Clark said the state is proud of its preparations and on-going efforts to respond to malicious, cyber-based attacks and events. Clark noted preparations began back in 2015 when the state developed and published the Michigan Cyber Disruption Response Plan (CDRP).
The CDRP governs chain of command responsibilities and processes for escalation during major cyber events and incidents. The state also conducts what it calls tabletop exercises to prepare for the best course of action in the event of a cyber-attack or cyber incident.
Some interesting cyber security facts and statistics Clark and others shared with the House committee included:
– The U.S. federal government has proposed $58.4 billion be spent on IT at civilian agencies in FY 2022 – of that $9.8 billion is for cybersecurity related activities.
– The cost of the average data breach to a U.S. company in 2022 was $9.44 million – $5 million more than the global average
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– By the third quarter of 2022, the FTC received 555,151 fraud reports with a median loss level of $1,000
– 93% of breaches involve financial or espionage motives
The panel also emphasized that cyber security isn’t just something large organizations like the state have to worry about.
Jim ELLIS, commander of the MSP Cyber Section, told the committee of a study where a hacker entered a café. Within 20 minutes, the hacker had obtained drivers license numbers, addresses and other critical information from patrons who were using the coffee house’s free wi-fi.
The group emphasized steps that can be taken to protect individual information from online data predators including:
– Relying more on your cellular provider’s data network rather than publicly available wi-fi
– When you are using public wi-fi networks, be sure to limit opening sites that could reveal information you want shielded.
The group also noted that the state makes available online tools to help residents protect their personal information – the app, available for both Apple and Android devices, is called Michigan Secure.
The app will let you know if the network you’re on is secure. It also includes a QR code scanner that you can utilize to ensure you’re not falling victim to QR code-based hacking by scanning a bad code.
More information can be found about the free app by clicking here.
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