Brittany Price:
Welcome back to Living Local. Cyber attacks or a growing danger to organizations, employees, and consumers. Thankfully you don’t have to be a cybersecurity specialist to understand and practice cyber defense. We’re sitting down with the experts today for some practical tips. Joining me in studio, we have David Nelson once again with NelsonCorp Wealth Management. Always great to have you here on the show, David.

David Nelson:
Thank you. I appreciate it.

Brittany Price:
And we have Aaron Warner. He is the CEO with Pro Circular. Aaron, welcome to Living Local.

Aaron Warner:
Thank you very much.

Brittany Price:
David, I understand that NelsonCorp has used cybersecurity services from Pro Circular for many years now. What value have you guys gotten from that?

David Nelson:
A lot. Our line of work, needless to say, a wealth management, it’s important to help people grow their money, but to protect that as well. The importance of having cyber security protection is top of the list as far as helping clients out. Anyway, we met up with Aaron a number of years ago and decided that this is something that we really need to do. Knock on wood. So far so good as far. As you hear of all the attacks that are taking place, we haven’t been and we hope to keep it that way. They’re are certainly the experts. They brought a lot of value to the table for us. That’s why I asked Aaron if he could join us today as far as to share some ideas.

Brittany Price:
This is so important and vital not only for businesses but for just individual consumers as well, even when we’re thinking about our government. This topic really applies to everyone. Aaron, let’s get down to the details. What is the history of cybersecurity and hacking?

Aaron Warner:
Cybersecurity has been around, hacking has been around pretty much as long as there have been computers. The thing that has changed with the internet is that now there’s a profit motive behind it. Because everyone is connected, because all of the different countries are connected, it’s much easier for people to get in and steal information, your private information or your financial information.

Brittany Price:
Right. Now, what current threats are out there specifically, right now?

Aaron Warner:
We see people being affected by ransomware, by malware. These hackers have become really good at talking people into doing things that they shouldn’t. Those are really the areas that most individuals are affected by by cybersecurity.

Brittany Price:
Now let’s take a look now at the actual hacker who are they?

Aaron Warner:
Hackers can can break into a number of different groups. You have your state hackers, which are groups like Russia and China that are trying to support political game. They do things like trying to influence elections. You have a the individual hackers, places like Nigeria that are more interested in financial theft, stealing your identity and then using it to do things like file false prescriptions, sell your medical records, open credit cards, that sort of thing. I think most people are affected most directly by by those hackers that are after their credit cards, that are after their checking account.

Brittany Price:
Right, and that applies to all of us here. You talked a little bit about what the current threats look like right now, but as we all know, technology is constantly changing, so what kind of future threats do you predict?

Aaron Warner:
I think that the place where the greatest risk lies is with mobile. We really haven’t seen a major outbreak of malware or ransomware on your phone or on your watch. I think those are the things that in the next five years you’re going to see some pretty major change.

Brittany Price:
Yeah, it’s just incredible now how little we actually use cash. It’s all through cards and mobile devices. A lot of the times your credit card information is already on your phone and you can just press to pay basically. That always makes me nervous, but yet I find myself doing it because it’s so convenient. Let’s talk about some practical ways that people can protect themselves, maybe some red flags to look out for.

Aaron Warner:
I’d say the first thing that we run into when we get that phone call from somebody who’s been hacked, the first question that we ask is have you back to your information up. It’s important to back it up. It’s good to use a portable hard drive so that it’s physically separate from your computer. It’s also really easy to do that over the web now, so something like a Google backup. It’s just a nice way to put a copy of those really precious data, your photos, your financial information out into a place that’s probably better protected than your own computer. That’s one of the big steps.

Aaron Warner:
The other one is a two factor authentication. Your bank will have it frequently. Companies like Nelson will have it, so that if you need to get into your information, it asks you for your phone number. Safe to assume that the hacker has your password, but there’s a good chance that they don’t have both your password and your phone. If they don’t have your phone, they can’t get into your account.

Brittany Price:
Right. So backup those files and all your information and two factor identification authentication.

Aaron Warner:
That’s right.

Brittany Price:
Aaron, why do you think that understanding and practicing cyber defense is so important?

Aaron Warner:
It can take years to unwind somebody’s stealing your personal information, particularly if they file a false tax return. That involves lawyers and phone calls to the government. It’s just a huge distraction. There’s certainly a financial cost associated with it, but the opportunity costs associated with breach is really high. The other thing is that anybody who’s involved in a business, again, it can cost the business money. Sometimes they’re insured. Sometimes they’re not. It takes everybody away from trying to accomplish the thing that the business is trying to do. Those are really the greatest impacts that we see.

Brittany Price:
Aaron, since you’ve launched Pro Circular, what has been the most rewarding part of helping people protect themselves in their information?

Aaron Warner:
We take a very personal approach to it. It’s a relationship with our clients. Honestly, the most rewarding pieces is getting a really great group of people together and watching do amazing things. It takes a lot of different characters to do cybersecurity work. Our office can look a little bit like the Star Wars bar scene from time to time, but seeing all of those different people with different backgrounds come together and help to protect our clients, it’s incredibly rewarding.

Brittany Price:
Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for the very valuable information, Aaron. It was great to meet you. David, as always, great to have you on the show.

David Nelson:
Thank you very much.

Brittany Price:
Thank you guys. For more information, you can call NelsonCorp (563) 242-9042. We’ll also have the details posted on ourquadcities.com. More Living Local continues after the break. Stay with us.

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