(Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, NY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 16--PLATTSBURGH -- A local company has increased its cyber-crime prevention services.
Twinstate Technologies CEO Devi Momot said the company has spent more than a year building its focus on cyber security for its clients.
"Cybercrime is on an exponential rise," she said. "We don't see any end in sight."
Momot cited figures from a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that estimates the global costs of cyber crime run at anywhere from $300 billion to $1 trillion annually. Small businesses, with 250 or fewer employees, are increasingly the target of those attacks, she said.
"That is many of the businesses in the North Country," Momot said.
While some hackers are only seeking to show off their skills for fun, others are looking to steal information or hurt a company's corporate image, she said.
To serve their clients better, Twinstate has become one of the region's only EC-Council-Certified Ethical Hacking groups. Cyber Security Specialist Chris Maulding is Twinstate's certified ethical hacker.
Ethical Hacking is part of Twinstate's Pre-emptive Attack Strategies package, which also includes vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.
Those involve entering a client's cyber environment and searching for potential security holes. The idea is to find and fix vulnerabilities before someone with bad intentions discovers them.
Not fixing flaws is like "giving them (hackers) the key to your house to steal your stuff," Maulding said.
Twinstate provides tools, services and education as part of its proactive and preventive support. But the client still needs to ensure that its employees know how to use those tools and how to avoid exposing the system to outside risk, the company says.
Maulding said employees should be taught to question everything, so as not to expose the company by actions -- such as clicking on unsafe links -- so hackers can load their own malware onto the system.
The Twinstate Multi-Threat Protection platform involves three levels of cyber-security protection: in "the cloud," at the point of entry and at the end point. The theory is it is better to be extra safe than sorry.
There's a balance between optimum security and system flexibility -- what is acceptable risk versus the potential impact to the company.
"You've got to get that perfect mix, and it's hard to find," Maulding said.
Twinstate's staff receives constant training and access to the latest equipment, so the client doesn't have to do the same, he said.
And once they have conducted their analysis, the firm gives the client a concise, easy-to-understand report on potential targets and how to fix them.
Maulding said they have found some vulnerability in almost every assessment they have done and have notified clients immediately if a critical threat or breach is discovered. In some cases, those threats may have gone unnoticed for months.
Twinstate can also help its clients stay up to date on their technology. Outdated systems can leave a company's network open to attacks.
As an example, Momot pointed out that Microsoft has announced it will no longer provide updates for its Windows XP operating system and Office 2003, as of April 1.
Twinstate will be unable to work on those systems for its clients because patches and other support from Microsoft will no longer be available.
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