Jim Heaton, president at VOX Microsoft, feels an urgent need to invest in advanced firewalls as the number of threats online is increasing rapidly.
Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) recently upgraded its software by incorporating Artificial Intelligence into the Office 365 application for better threat detection to help curb hacking and providing cyber-security.
“We launched it about two weeks ago, we’ve never shown it,” Heaton said. “This is the world premiere of the software.”
He acknowledged hacking is by far from being defeated as the numbers continue to rise every year.
“The amount of fraud and hacking is doubling every year,” Heaton said.
The banking sector has led as the victims of data breaches at 47 per cent followed by universities at 46 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Pipeline transportation recorded 45 per cent of the security threats.
These incidents were linked to theft and ransom demand by hackers.
Jason Marilla, a cyber-threat hunter, warned even the smallest of the individuals could be at risk of hacking.
“Everybody is a target,” Marilla said. “Hackers don’t really care if you make a lot of money or not.”
Social engineering becomes a common gateway to bank account clean-ups, he said.
“When a mailbox is compromised, they start sending out emails to other people to try and hack them or try to fool accounting departments into sending the money,” Marilla said.
He said he thinks the reluctance to spend money on software has put most individuals and companies at risk as they are not ready to accept it to secure the businesses.
“All they do is use older technology,” Marilla said. “Unfortunately, because of the mindset of most people and most companies, it’s going to take some time to make their technology improvements (overcome) increased vulnerability.”
Marilla is supportive of Microsoft’s enhancements of Office 365 and encouraged a crowd of about 700 people to purchase it as it offers better security features.
“It comes with an embedded antivirus in it that makes your computer a little bit more secure,” he said.
The amounts of money lost to hackers could be enough to fund a country’s budget, Marilla said.
The FBI stated companies have lost roughly $26 billion in the past few years by business email being compromised.
Governments are aware of breaches but the most they can do is provide regulatory standards, but it’s up to businesses and people to change the situation, he said.
Heaton and Marilla say avoiding cybersecurity is feasible only when one is aware and invests in upgraded software. Incidents of cyberattacks can be reported to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.
“The two things to be keen on are: better software and training staff and individuals to be aware,” Heaton said.
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