Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore This Issue

For the last 17 years a collaborative initiative between American industry and government created and promoted Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October each year. Why?  Because we all, privately and at work, need the information and resources to keep us safer and more secure online. The National Cybersecurity Alliance was formed, and has promoted awareness campaigns and provided resources which enable you can take steps to make sure you don’t fall victim to online thieves. And yet, fall victim we do in North America, thousands of us each year, because we either aren’t aware of the threat, or we haven’t taken the steps necessary to protect ourselves and our businesses. The costs amount to billions of dollars stolen each year, plus the cost of starting over with computer systems or paying ransoms to regain access to our data.

Optima Automotive has created a one-hour AMI-Approved, online workshop, entitled “Cyber Insecurity” to help you get a grasp of the threats and understand the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your business. Click HERE for more information:  https://www.optimaautomotive.com/workshops/

Learn a lesson from one of your peers, Ryan Cropper, who owns Able Body Shop in Anchorage, Alaska. Ryan’s computer system was hacked through an open port in his shop’s paint spray booth that linked to the manufacturer and a paint company. Ryan’s data, and computer system, was completely locked up tight, not accessible unless he paid a $4,000 ransom to a Russian who was a well-known professional hacker. This hacker demanded the ransom be paid by BitCoin, untraceable cyber currency, or else Ryan would never have access to his data and computer system again. Take it or leave it, negotiation was not an option.

Since these professional hackers make their money by earning a reputation for restoring data and access once ransom’s have been paid, Ryan, under the counsel of his IT professional, decided that the easier way to restore things was to pay the ransom rather than attempt to start over with his software and email systems.  After doing so, Ryan received a password three long days later that allowed him to get back into his computer system again. And it did. Then, Ryan’s IT professional went to work to close open ports and establish additional security measures within Ryan’s shop so this wouldn’t happen again.

Optima’s online workshop on Cybersecurity addresses this issue in some detail, defines the various threats that are out there, and establishes steps you need to take for protection. Upon completion, participants can request AMI credits. Participants will also receive a sample company cybersecurity policy, incident response checklist, a cybersecurity awareness flyer and a fact sheet on creating great passwords. Workshop cost is $95.  The workshop is great for shop owners, managers and employees. Click HERE to get started.  https://www.optimaautomotive.com/workshops/