Chamber “Lunch and Learn” hears cyber security topic

By Alberta Stojkovic - For The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — Cybercrime and ways in which business can combat hackers and protect critical data were the subjects of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch and Learn Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Jeff Spain of Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at Columbus State University introduced Rob Edwards and Kate McDonald of Maple Woods Enterprises. They spoke about the recent, unprecedented amount of cybercrime and ways in which business can analyze and protect themselves.

McDonald suggested that an important way for business to work on security is to make sure that employees are aware of ways that hackers can invade systems through “phishing” to steal confidential information. Cyber criminals can also get into systems and make it unavailable until a ransom is paid, which is ransomware.

Cross training employees, so that more than one individual in a company has access to secure information in case of an outage, is a first step to work on security. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will protect your identity and browsing activity from hackers and fraudulent business.

Employee training vital

McDonald and Edwards emphasized the importance of having good training on office policy so that any invasion of security would be recognized and dealt with quickly.

Edwards said their business believes in having low cost/high impact security. “Empower employees to think securely. Have phishing education and use positive feedback to help employees learn.”

There is also a concern with attackers getting into files by pretending to be a co-worker. A best practice is to share accounts only when absolutely needed. If mobile devices are allowed to use a business system, be sure they are secure and safe.

Another point that McDonald and Edwards covered was the importance of protecting the critical data of a business with back-up. They recommend keeping a copy offline, verify that the back-up is restorable and do back-ups regularly.

For the industrial control system McDonald suggested not to connect devices that aren’t needed. Have virus and malware scanning and vendor security updates.

“People, process, and having tools and resources are the most important aspects of cybersecurity,” McDonald said in summary. “Do people (employees) know what to do, how to do it and have the resources to do it?”

Chamber activities

February “Lunch and Learn was a collaboration of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce, the Morrow County Development Office and MEP at Columbus State University. Lunch and Learn is offered on various topics by the Chamber the third Tuesday each month.

Chamber Director Joel Smythe said the March program will feature a business that has transitioned to online sales. April will highlight creative marketing ideas.

A Chamber golf outing is planned for this summer at Kings Mill. See for more information about the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce or phone 419-946-2821.

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel