National Cybersecurity Center Works Quickly to Help its Clients Recover

The center's Rapid Response Center helps businesses, nonprofits and government agencies cope with network security incidents.

by Wayne Heilman, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / January 31, 2017

(TNS) -- The National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs has helped four clients recover from cyberattacks since mid-December, the center's CEO said.

Its Rapid Response Center helps businesses, nonprofits and government agencies cope with network security incidents. The victim of a recent phishing attack that resulted in the theft of more than 500 employee tax forms sought the Rapid Response Center's help in recovering from the security breach by improving education, training and awareness about cybersecurity threats and how to avoid becoming a victim, center CEO Ed Rios said.

The documents were stolen as a result of a fake email created to look like it is from a government agency seeking private financial information or log-in credentials needed to access such documents and file false income tax returns or engage in identity theft.

"Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common and are all too often effective, as we just saw with our recent client," Rios said. "These scamming emails look very real and demand attention and scrutiny by every person who uses email. Requests for payroll information through email should be viewed with extreme caution."

The response center also helped a law firm, a midsized technical and manufacturing business and a federal agency response to hacker intrusions into their computer networks, including one in which hackers gained access through a business partner's network, Rios said. The National Cyber Exchange, a separate nonprofit also based in the Springs, operates the response center for the National Cybersecurity Center, but the cybersecurity center plans to eventually hire staff to take over the operation though the exchange will continue to be involved, he said.

The cybersecurity center also named Jenifer Furda as its chief operating officer, starting March 1. She will handle fundraising, administration, public relations and marketing as well as organize training events and conferences for the nonprofit. Furda is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and previously spent 12 years with the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce as vice president of membership and events.

The cybersecurity center was created last year to help organizations combat cybersecurity threats, do research on such threats and educate public officials about cybersecurity.

The center is operating in temporary offices and is scheduled to move this year into its permanent home in a former TRW satellite plant.

©2017 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.