Prepping for a cyber pandemic: worldwide drill underway

Investigators

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The World Economic Forum kicked off its annual Cyber Polygon exercise Friday, which gives companies and governments the opportunity to participate in a simulation of a
“Cyber Pandemic”.

“It is inevitable that some larger attack is going to occur one day,” John Sancenito said.

Sancenito is the President of INA,a security consulting firm in Harrisburg.

“We are very interested to hear what is going to happen with this. It is a practice session in which they get to brainstorm a scenario, how would this affect the world economy, how might this affect individual corporations and what can be done to protect them,” Sancenito said. “What is being talked about today and over the next couple of days is a potential real-world situation.”

This year 200 teams from 48 countries are participating in the worldwide training exercise. Companies like IBM, Santander and Ernst and Young are on the list.

The focus of the live drill this year is a targeted supply chain attack on a corporation. If a scenario like this happened in real life, it could impact our daily lives by shutting down water treatment facilities, the power grid, or the internet.

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“What would you do if you can’t access your bank accounts, the internet, or your cell phone suddenly stopped working? These are the kinds of things people really do need to think through because one day we may be facing a crisis like that,” Sancenito said.

“We are faced with the possibility and probability of cyberattacks every day,” Clair Finkenbinder said.

Finkenbinder is the Chief Information Officer & Director of Operations of Centric Bank, which has several branches in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

“Over the course of a quarter, it’s in excess of a million {cyber attack attempts}. Russia is number one followed by the Netherlands and then it goes down the scale. By far Russia surpasses all the others combined. There is a silent war going on to keep the bad guys at bay and keep all the information safe,” Finkenbinder said.

The Cyber Polygon event goes on for several days. Experts will also hold discussions on cryptocurrency and ransomware. Experts say ransomware leads to most cyberattacks, which is why they warn us not to click on suspicious links or attachments.

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