Twin Cities Businesses Train to Stay Ahead of Next Data Breach

Updated: 08/24/2014 9:18 AM
Created: 08/23/2014 5:25 PM
By: Kate Renner

The security of home and work computers is important in this day and age when hackers could be lurking on the other side.

With Target Corp.'s massive data breach last year and Supervalu, which owns Cub Foods, hacked earlier this month, Americans have seen the risks. These can include hackers selling credit card numbers and stealing identities.

A cyber-security meeting aimed at training businesses on how they can stay secure was held Saturday.

Security analysts at the Security B-Sides Minneapolis Conference say the difference between a hacker and a security expert is sometimes a matter of semantics.

To stay ahead of the next breach, many companies hire people like Brad Ammerman, co-founder of the conference, to test their system's faults.

"I go in, I break the company, I write a report saying this is where you're weak," Ammerman said.

Ammerman says it's easy for hackers to learn the tricks of the black market.

"That's how I learned,” Ammerman said. “I just went to Google and started researching.”

At Saturday’s conference, businesses sent their information to technology professionals to stay ahead of the cyber-corruption.

Ammerman says it’s users who make businesses vulnerable.

"Basically if I want to get into a company, I will target the user and send them a fishing attack,” Ammerman said. “To have them click on something and download and that gets me a backdoor."

This also makes it difficult to predict which company will be hit next.

One way to protect yourself on your home computer is to download a free operating system called Linux. Basically it installs a computer inside your computer.

Experts say to do all your banking on Linux, then shut it down so no one can track your log-in information.

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