Protecting yourself from cyber threats
When my wife Mylene and I first owned radio stations in Hood River and The Dalles, securing our communications network meant putting fences around our broadcast towers “Security” meant physical security.
Years later when we installed our first digital networks and computer audio systems, “security” took on a whole new meaning.
Now small businesses—and everyday citizens—face a dizzying array of threats online, from the Zeus Trojan horse to SpyEye to the Stuxnet worm. When a business’s checking account is wiped out due to malware, it may be the difference between being able to keep its doors open and being forced to shut down. These threats are real, and they are going to get worse. Our cyber defenses must be strong and they must be nimble. The tech world moves fast, but the bad guys can move even quicker.
As chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees technology and related issues, I’ve worked to combat the growing threat of cyber theft and attacks. Earlier this year, Bill Conner, CEO of Entrust and one of the top cybersecurity experts in the country, testified before my panel about what businesses can do to protect themselves. I thought everyone needed to hear about this problem and what we could do about it, so I invited him to Oregon to hold workshops with me.
In Bend on Monday and Medford on Tuesday, small business owners and citizens sat down with Bill and me to discuss the threat and what they can do to protect themselves. One central Oregon business owner told me that his website is attacked “a thousand times a day.”
I’ve worked with my colleagues in Congress to pass a plan with bipartisan support to make common sense changes to our laws to enable the government and the private sector to share information with each other about cyberthreats without shackling companies with regulation, compromising the integrity of the intelligence community, or jeopardizing our citizens’ privacy.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your property online, below is a list of resources to help you confront this latest challenge.
Additional Resources to Understand and Combat Cybersecurity Threats
House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing Memos, Written Testimony, and Video Streams
1. Threats to Communications Networks and Private-Sector Responses, Feb. 8, 2012: http://archives.republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=9250
2. The Pivotal Role of Communications Networks, March 7, 2012 http://archives.republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=9342
3. Threats to Communications Networks and Public-Sector Responses, March 28, 2012 http://archives.republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=9397
H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Internet Security Essentials for Business 2.0
US Telecom Cyber Toolkit
FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US CERT)