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Partnership brings together Nebraska companies and FBI to prevent cyber attacks

Posted at 7:18 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 08:18:37-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Behind every major company is a robust IT department and those departments have become the frontline for the new age of cyber warfare.

“They will tell you they are being hit, there are penetration attempts throughout the day, hundreds or thousands a day it is constant, many many attempts,” said Gene Kowel, Special Agent in charge of the Omaha FBI Field Office.

The FBI’s internet crime complaint center reported a 7% increase in cyber attacks compared to last year with over 850,000 attacks reported.

And those attacks are happening to companies big and small.

“It is one of those situations with the growth of cyber attacks, I think if a company hasn’t already experienced a cyber attack then they will in the future,” said Jim Bogner.

Bogner is the President of the Nebraska Chapter of Infragard, a unique public-private partnership between Nebraska companies and the FBI to help prevent and coordinate responses to cyber attacks.

The Nebraska chapter has around 500 members representing every major industry in the state.

“If someone is experiencing a crime, a ransomware or some kind of attack, or maybe they interrupt an attack, then they can come and share it with all of the other sectors here,” said Bogner.

Kowel says the partnership is critical responding to cyber threats and one that they hope to grow to include even more Nebraska companies.

It gives agents a look into what attacks are being made and who is being targeted and gives the companies a lifeline in case they become a victim of a cyber attack themselves.

“We come in person to help if that’s what the company wants. If the company doesn’t want us to come in person and provide some other support we will provide that. But our first inclination will be, you have been attacked, you have had an intrusion, no problem. We will be there as soon as we can and help you through this,” said Kowel.

While it's a great tool to prevent and respond to attacks you don’t have to be an Infragard member to get the help of the FBI.

They recommend you call them as soon as you become aware of any attacks or intrusions.

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