Last updated: August 23. 2013 6:54PM - 299 Views

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LIMA ‚?? While cyber warfare has gripped the plots of blockbuster movies, it also can pose a real-life threat to individuals and businesses.

Matt Haschak, director of information technology security and infrastructure at Bowling Green State University, was a keynote speaker Thursday at the annual Lima Regional IT Alliance Tech conference. Haschak focused on impacts of cyber warfare and how businesses and individuals alike can prepare.

‚??Interlinking of all the computers together makes us more efficient, makes us be able to work from more places, makes us be able to work faster,‚?Ě Haschak said at Veterans Memorial Civic Center in Lima. ‚??But it can also make us more vulnerable as we rely on that technology.‚?Ě

Hackers can make attacks for a number of reasons. Depending on a hacker‚??s goal, an attack can affect a person or business financially, technologically, or even through utilities and transportation.

To avoid a computer virus, Haschak said, it‚??s important to follow best computer practices, such updating anti-virus programs, keeping firewalls up and being aware of phishing scams. That goes for personal and shared computers, too.

‚??While (home computers) may not have a treasure trove of valuable data on their system, their high-speed Internet connection and so forth allows them to participate in denial service attacks,‚?Ě Haschak said.

In other words, home computers can provide a conduit to further spread a virus. On a bigger scale, for businesses and industries, Haschak suggests making print copies of important documents and saving files onto an encrypted flash drive.

‚??This isn‚??t just a Hollywood plot,‚?Ě he said. ‚??Everyone wants to be able to connect to their systems from home, from their mobile device, wherever that might be. And if you flood that traffic, if you flood it with a bunch of data, it‚??s kind of like a traffic jam on the freeway. ‚?Ľ That‚??s a very powerful tool for any hacker.‚?Ě

Mayor David Berger thought Haschak‚??s expertise was great for the conference.

‚??Whether you‚??re a small or large organization, you have to be paying attention,‚?Ě Berger said. And Haschak ‚??comes with many years of hands-on experience.‚?Ě

Berger said Lima is looking to develop backup systems in case of an emergency. The mayor is more concerned about natural disasters than hackers.

‚??If City Hall got hit with a tornado,‚?Ě he said. ‚??We‚??d want to come back pretty quickly.‚?Ě

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