Omaha experts offer guidance on cybersecurity

“Cyber safety is an enormously simple problem to solve, at the end of the day”
Omaha-based companies tell 6 News the importance of cybersecurity and share tips on how to secure your online information.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 11:16 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Cybersecurity Awareness Month seems like a big title to swallow, but area experts warn no one is safe from hackers.

“Everything and anything that you post publicly has been calculated, put into databases, scraped,” said Robert Lamagna-Reiter, Vice President and Chief Information Security Office for Omaha-based FNTS. “It’s been analyzed and folks use that information, its really accessible, believe it or not.”

Lamagna-Reiter’s company FNTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FNBO, has over 100 clients nationwide, big and small, looking for more levels of information security, cyber attack protection and corporate data planning. He says the basic approach is simple.

“It starts with installing a culture of cybersecurity, a culture of taking precautions, a culture of thinking before you click,” he said. “Even with your day to day at home, it all starts with (things like) never using the same password, not over sharing on social media.”

Gary Sparks agrees. He started the successful cybersecurity program at Metro Community College, which is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Education.

“In addition to training students to go into cybersecurity, we’re also charged by the NSA to do community outreach,” Sparks said. “Community events, homeowners associations, help desk institute, women’s health clinics. I try to set things up around their industry. How does it apply to what ‘they’ do?”

Sparks said the website for the U.S. government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which promotes the annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, includes information that can be valuable for individuals or groups.

Robert Lamagna-Reiter, FNTS, VP and Chief Information Security Officer
Robert Lamagna-Reiter, FNTS, VP and Chief Information Security Officer(WOWT)

Both experts offered similar advice, including: don’t use the same password more than once, use multi-factor authorization when offered, use pass phrases instead of passwords, and use sound principles when it comes to posting on social media and opening e-mails.

“Cybersafety is an enormously simple problem to solve, at the end of the day,” Lamagna-Reiter said. “It’s little things like that that take just a few extra seconds that help our organizations stay secure.”

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