The mess after cyberattacks at Las Vegas casinos now serves as a potent reminder of our new world.
“Let’s take a look at the reality of where we are in the cyber world, and what can we do to prevent this from happening again?” said Charles Maranzano, former superintendent for the Dinwiddie School District.
From banks to movie studios, any institution with a digital database is vulnerable. Even school districts came under attack this year, in several states.
“You’re concerned, because what’s at risk are student records, which are highly protected,” said Maranzano.
The casino hacks come as the U.S. Defense Department publicly outlined its cybersecurity strategy, making it clear that cyberspace is the new warzone.
“As the cyber domain has grown, foreign adversaries have exploited it to identify vulnerabilities, commit espionage, steal intellectual property, violate U.S. sovereignty, and recently to wage war,” said Mieke Eoyang, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy.
And as more of our personal, financial and social data lives forever online, there’s only so much we can do to protect it.
“Some of this is unfortunate because it doesn’t matter how personally careful you and I are with our data if some institution is compromised,” said Jeff Karberg, director of the Identity Theft Program at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
But, at the Maryland attorney general’s office, where they’ve seen more cyber-based identity theft lately, they have a few ideas, including a credit freeze if you suspect your personal information is compromised.
“And what it does fundamentally is make sure every account made under your name has to go through you,” said Karberg.
And for parents, keeping kids’ info safe is paramount.
“Not enough parents are teaching their children the fundamentals of computer safety,” said Karberg.
Things like not clicking email links from an unknown source and learning to identify scams. For the adults use a firewall and secure your home internet — all efforts to put up armor on a changed global battlefield.