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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Your company gives you a phone, but does this mean the device is safe from high-tech raiders?
Just because you might not pay for it, doesn't mean you have free reign, and the consequences can come back to haunt if you, especially if you went into risky territory.
Computer forensic expert Michael McCartney said, "It happens every day. Every day in our business we're kind of tossed between an employee doing bad things or an environment in which has been compromised due to internal threats or external threats where it has exposed the organization to tremendous risk."
Just a year ago, nearly 800 companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, were all hacked. In today's world, the threat is far too easy.
The simple act of checking a personal e-mail account or buying flowers for mom on Mother's Day with mobile work devices can put the company you work for at risk.
McCartney works to hunt down a "syndicate," as he calls it, of hackers looking to steal your personal and work-related information. McCartney is the president and CEO of Digits LLC, you can learn more about them on their website.
"We like to say they're everywhere and they're nowhere because they literally live in the cloud. It's frustrating in my former years in law enforcement to try to bring these people to justice," he noted.
McCartney added, "There's a lot of every day companies, I would say probably in the neighborhood of 95 percent of most companies, generally don't have that great of visibility into what the employees are doing on the devices that they get issued."
If that number isn't alarming, this might be: according to international authorities, "80 percent of crime committed online around the world is now connected to organized gangs operating across borders." And the cost is more than that of cocaine, heroin and marijuana trafficking put together.
"They are literally organized crime syndicates and different syndicates operate within different factions," McCartney explained. "And so one group goes out and tries to hack just the names and Social Security numbers and addresses. Another group goes after other things."
John Walp is the corporate information security officer for M&T Bank. In the wake of companies like Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo being compromised, Walp says the threat landscape has changed along with the growth of the internet and those who are looking for a payoff by stealing information. Walp adds the mobile threat, while still fairly new, is a big concern for the company he's in charge of protecting.
"It's a challenge every day. The threat is evolving. More and more banks are adopting mobile applications. So as with any new technology, fraud will follow it," he said.
It's Walp's job to make sure the banks 5,000 employees are prepared to spot a cyber scam and M&T doesn't take any chances. The company has a rigorous awareness program that employees are required to take part in twice a year.
"We really ensure that employees know the rules of the game as it relates to a personal device and really the aspect of awareness in what happens on that device and what could happen on that device," Walp explained.
While hackers continue to get creative to find new ways to obtain our information, most people aren't creative enough to keep it from them. A recent study shows that the most common password used is: "password" or "abc123."