KALAMAZOO, Mich. — President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, 2021, to talk cybersecurity efforts.
IT companies in Kalamazoo said they’re seeing an uptick in smaller local companies inquiring about and beefing up cybersecurity, but cybersecurity could have a hefty price tag on it.
“We’ve seen the JBS, millions of dollars, the Colonial [pipeline], millions of dollars, but even on a local level the highest I’ve seen is $50,000,” said Ron Harris, vice president of Omega Computer Services. “It happens in an instant.”
The frequency of cyberattacks has accelerated the need for people who could fend them off.
“The good news is more and more prospective students are realizing that cybersecurity is a promising field, and we’ve seen inquiries and applications on the rise semester-by-semester,” Jason Johnson, the co-director of Western Michigan University’s cybersecurity program, said in an emailed statement.
Johnson said cybersecurity is a rising occupation.
He said, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average information security analyst makes about $103,000 per year.
The field is expected to grow by 31% by 2029.
Cyber criminals only need one login to succeed to get a business tangled up in ransomware. Thieves holding businesses and customers hostage looking for any little crack in cyber shields.
“It’s becoming a forefront as it happens to smaller and smaller companies,” said Harris.
Once hackers are in your system, experts said there is no going back.
“There’s really not a good way to fight it,” said Harris.
Cybersecurity is expensive, it costs anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars per month.
“You can lose your business over these threats,” said Jerry Bastian, business tech advisor at Next I.T.
If you’re not a business owner, hackers mostly look to steal personal information through emails and harmful websites.