Albany companies look to improve cyber security

Albany companies look to improve cyber security

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - South Georgia businesses, concerned about recent computer breaches, and looking for ways to protect themselves from criminals.

Several Albany area businesses had their and their customer's financial information recently stolen through computer hacks.

Now other business owners are taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen to them.

Tommy Padgett of Dasher & Padgett Financial Advisers said criminal computer hacking in businesses has become "overwhelming", and they are being proactive.

"It can happen anywhere and to anybody," Padgett said. "What we're trying to do is find out some additional ways to protect ourselves and to protect our clients."

Padgett was one of dozens of business owners who attended a seminar this week by HighTide Technology, a cyber security company.  They say Albany small businesses are at risk.

"Identities stolen through the fraudulent filing of tax returns," said High Tide Technology president Norman Chandler. "We've had people here locally that have had credit card information stolen. We've had health records stolen. All this has happened here locally."

Chandler says businesses need to become aware of cyber crimes, and learn how to protect their and their customer's data.

"Doing a penetration type test. Assessing your network. Things of that nature," Chandler said. "Those are all things that you should do at least once a year. Of course in a perfect world you would want to do it continuously."

Padgett said he hopes all businesses will start to get serious about cyber crime and security.

"We depend on the people we give our information to to protect it.  And we want those businesses to protect the information we give them," Padgett said.

Chandler warned those business owners that most insurance will not cover cyber crimes and their damage.  He said owners need to increase their security, because cyber hackers are targeting companies here.

These type of cyber security companies are some of the fastest growing industries because hackers are targeting businesses of all sizes now.

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