Cyber security concerns grow in Siouxland amidst ransomware attack on meatpacker JBS

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NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (KCAU) – Recent cyber attacks around the globe have drawn attention to cyber security here in Siouxland.

In fact, the Department of Justice has elevated cyber attacks to the level of Terrorism. People and businesses here, and around the country, are at risk. Whether it be a major business or your cell phone, anything based in technology is prone to cyber attacks.

At Mills-Shellhammer-Puetz-Associates in Sioux City, cyber security is nothing new.

“We’ve been concerned about cyber liability for several years. people in the Siouxland community didn’t think it would hit them, they thought it would hit big companies on the east coast and the west coast but it turns out that everyone’s a prospect for a cyber criminal,” said Casey Mills of Mills-Shellhammer-Puetz.

Blake Levasseur runs Computer Service Innovations. He said the recent ransomware attack on meatpacker JBS has brought more attention to cyber security in Siouxland.

“One of the things that I always tell people is just think before you click. If you have a doubt or it’s something that you find that you find unusual or anything could be out of the norm, then just delete it or call your IT professional,” said Levasseur.

Levasseur says being cautious is the key to staying cyber-safe.

“Really trust nothing anymore, some of the assumed practices and disciplines are that we assume anybody in our network or on the internet or actually in an email is a potential bad guy. There is numbers out there that show businesses that have been breached or hacked, at least forty percent of them end up going out of business,” Levasseur said.

“Just like a lot of other things, you want to have a plan in place. Prevention is often times cheaper than the reactionary phase after something happens and so we would advocate that you have an IT security plan or an IT security specialist that takes care of your company, takes care of your business,” said Officer Andrew Dutler of the Sioux City Police Department.

Mills reminds Siouxlanders that cyber attacks can happen anywhere.

“Siouxland business owners need to be made aware that when cyber criminals go out and look for potential victims, they’re casting a net agnostic of geography. They’re looking everywhere and seeing whose systems might be exposed, they don’t know if they’re in Sioux City or New York City,” said Mills.

Levasseur says businesses should make sure their systems are patched and have software that provides protection from outside users.

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