How NJ officials are trying to protect you from cyber threats
In response to online threats against Garden State residents, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell is expanding operations.
“It’s the state’s one-stop shop for cyber-security information sharing threat analysis and incident reporting,” NJCCIC director Mike Geraghty said.
He said it doesn’t matter how big or small a company is — you are at risk for a cyber attack.
“Part of our mission is to provide information to those businesses, to the private sector, what those new threats, those vulnerabilities are, and then also provide them with mitigation techniques,” he said. “We’re providing all our partners, the public and the private sector, with information on cyber security threats. We’re doing analysis of those threats. We’re publishing information on how to mitigate the threats.”
And not only are businesses at risk, private citizens are as well.
“Your thermostat in your home, your pacemaker or anything else that’s connected to the internet — those now become targets for cyber security incidents," he said. “Whether you’re a business or a home user you’re a target. There’s no discrimination on the part of the bad guys.”
So who’s behind these threats?
Geraghty stressed cyber attacks may be launched by domestic or foreign terrorists, criminals, or just wiseguy hackers.
“It could be an inside employee. It could be somebody that just has a grudge against a business. The motivations are similar to what we see in other crimes. It’s just that the attack vector is different,” he said.
He also said people need to understand the threat landscape is always changing.
“It’s continuing to evolve. The security is outdated on a daily basis. There are new exploits that are produced on a daily basis and new vulnerabilities that are found,” Geraghty said.
To get up-to-the minute information he recommends you visit cyber.nj.gov.
“We produce daily alerts and reports. On a weekly basis we publish a bulletin. Our website is full of information on threat and mitigation techniques,” he said.
Geraghty also pointed out “smaller businesses don’t usually have a cyber-security staff, and we want to augment what they do, we want to we want to provide the service to them.”
NJCCIC was created by Gov. Chris Christie in 2015.
Before taking the reins of the Cell, Geraghty spent more than a decade with the New Jersey State Police, and worked for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
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