From virtual conferences with our medical providers to ordering meals online, our lives are becoming increasingly dependent on cyberspace. But as our technology evolves, so should the security infrastructure that protects it.
That’s why the FBI is working more closely with companies across the United States and across sectors to protect against known cyber baddies, mitigate cyber risk, and identify new and emerging threats that are on the horizon faster than ever .
Ransomware incidents reported by companies to the FBI, for example, nearly doubled from 2019 to 2021 – an 80% increase over the two-year period. Each year, the FBI combs through thousands of leads and has recovered millions of dollars and vast amounts of data originally lost to cybercrime. In 2021 alone, the FBI’s Cybercrime Complaints Center reported nearly 20,000 complaints of business email breaches, costing businesses and individuals approximately $2.4 billion in commerce.
And these schemes range from simple phishing campaigns to sophisticated cyberattacks. The tricks use every imaginable method to gain access. Sometimes they can target multiple people with a single goal, while others can target a single person with the goal of affecting thousands. And these efforts can be accomplished in minutes or span years.
I want to assure you that the FBI is doing everything in its power to contain incidents and identify new threats and vulnerabilities by investing significant time and resources. For example, we have established cyber task forces in each of our field offices, made up of qualified personnel including investigators, intelligence analysts and computer scientists, to name a few.
The Kansas City Cyber Crime Task Force is focused on stopping malware vendors around the world. We conduct investigations that impact Kansas City and beyond. The task force also focuses on nation-state activities aimed at illegal acquisition of intellectual property and destructive attacks on US assets.
But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.
By reporting intrusions you encounter immediately, we can help you and proactively help others before they fall victim to the same scam. For example, if we’re notified of an attack, the FBI will bring as many or as few resources as you need. We will determine if the incident is related to other attacks, provide you with technical information and assistance to stop the attack, and use our investigative efforts to help you recover data and assets.
But we believe that a relationship should start with us before an incident. Partnering with the FBI can be as simple as a phone call. Perhaps someone on your team will join InfraGard – a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector to facilitate information sharing and communication. Either way, you’ll find the FBI ready to help you if an incident occurs.
I understand the hesitation. Corporations can be cautious when working with the FBI. But maybe these stats will calm you down:
▪ More than 600 of the Fortune 1000 companies are part of the FBI’s Domestic Security Alliance Council.
▪ More than 70,000 professionals in the United States participate in the FBI’s InfraGard program.
▪ Nearly all of the top 50 US banks, ranked by asset, have partnerships with the FBI’s Recovery Asset Team, which works to recover funds stolen from cyber programs.
While these emerging cyber incidents may seem new, the FBI can be there to provide you with the resources and skills to help you navigate choppy waters. Protect yourself by taking measures such as: B. raising awareness and using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
Just as important, have a cyber response plan—and test it regularly. Put us on your list of people to call if this cyber incident happens. Together we can work as partners to protect your business and our country.
Charles Dayoub is the Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Kansas City field office.