Security Experts Work To Keep The Internet Safe By Outsmarting Cyber Crooks

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UPDATED: Monday March 3, 2014 6:08 PM

Inside super-secret Battelle, cyber security experts try to outthink, outsmart, and outwit cyber crooks worldwide.

"The way we look at it, its risk mitigation.  You're taking down your attack vector," says Battelle’s Chris Myszkowski.

And if Myszkowski sounds like a secret agent, well, there is a good reason for that.  "I was in the Secret Service for 4 years doing protection on President Bush's detail.”

Now he heads up Battelle's Cyber Innovations Unit, which provides intelligence that helps banks and financial institutions identify and assess online threats and risks before they occur.

"We're looking at what's the next thing that's gonna happen?" Myszkowski says.

They scan forums, websites, and social media.  One time, they discovered client credit card information for sale online.

"This was stuff that had been stolen, someone was looking to sell this information through a forum, to other hackers that were out there," says Myszkowski.

Instead, the Cyber Unit collected the credit card info and returned it to their clients, saving them and their customer’s untold amounts of money and grief.

Cyber Engineer Doug Thornton says the first thing you should do to protect your financial information is keep your computer up-to-date.  "If you leave it on once a week, it'll download those software updates and then it may prompt you to install them when it's done or it may automatically do them for you!"

Cyber security researcher Scott Lee cautions against using public Wi-Fi because it is not safe.  And, he says, beware of phishing emails.

"People oftentimes will initiate these breaches by sending out an email with a malicious attachment or a malicious link.  Just be very wary of what you're clicking on when you're using that computer," Thornton says.

John Toterhi, researcher at Battelle Security, says your cyber security also depends on the right password.  "The one thing I really stress is just picking a password that is random, has high entropy or randomness, that is long.  And don't reuse it on multiple sites.”

If you can't manage different passwords on different sites, he suggests a password vault - something like LastPass or KeePass.  Even cyber experts like John need help with passwords.

"Twenty to thirty characters, completely random, stuff that I can't remember on my own.  But those password managers, password vaults can do that for me, let me know when they're expiring, how long they've been use,” says Toterhi

So while these guys search for cyber crooks, they remind you, that much of the responsibility for your cyber security rests in your own hands.

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