AUGUSTA (WFXG) - Cyber threats are out there. We’ve seen it on an international scale. In fact, we have people in our own backyard working to protect us everyday. However, cyber attacks can still come on a smaller level. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to better protect our information and technology.

Our local cyber experts say the cyber security battlefield is not only on the doorstep of our government, but our own keyboards.

“It appears we do not fight wars with real weapons anymore, but we conduct wars using computers and networks," said Alexander Schwarzmann, Augusta University Dean of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

Schwarzmann says foreign bad actors attack the US cyber front regularly for multiple reasons,

“One of them of course is theft of intellectual property, scientific espionage and also trying to see discord within our society."

So, what do we do to amplify our protection? He says it begins with us.

“We need to be much more disciplined with our online behavior.”

Schwarzmann says that means not letting carelessness or curiosity get the best of us with suspicious emails or links.

“That probably accounts for more than maybe close to a half of all entry points by our adversaries.”

But, protection doesn’t stop there. Schwarzmann says our systems need attention too.

"We need to construct better quality systems and we need to think, of course, cyber security, how to make them secure at the design stage, not as an afterthought.”

IntelliSystems says that’s one of the best places to start.

“You know, the easy things are making sure you have the newest operating system, make sure things are patched,” said Kevin Wade.

Wade feels another step to protection includes strong and unique passwords,

“It makes it harder. If someone figures one out, it keeps you from giving away access to the whole rest of your array of services you may use,” said Wade.

Wade also recommends training your employees on cyber security and keeping an extensive backup. If all else fails, he says you always want to have an expert to call on.

“There’s a reason why cyber security jobs are the hottest jobs out there right now. It’s because it’s a special talent.”

Speaking of jobs, Augusta University hopes to bring more students to the cyber workforce. Schwarzmann tells FOX54  the school is teaching students the importance of building correct software and security to better prepare them for future cyber threats in their field.

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