With the increasing use of social media and email, cybercrimes are becoming a much more prevalent problem.
“Our desire to easily access information has also become somewhat of a curse,” said Justin Kolenbrander, FBI supervisory special agent.
Kolenbrander has been working with cybercrime for 12 years and supervises the Omaha Cyber Task Force.
He joined Thomas Metz, special agent in charge of the FBI's Omaha division, to speak about cyber threats at the Rotary 5650 District Conference at the Scott Conference Center. About 175 people attended.
One of the FBI's priorities is protecting the United States from cyber-based attacks and high technology crimes, Kolenbrander said.
The crimes include computer hacking, insiders stealing company emails and selling them to competitors, and thefts of intellectual property and data.
Cyber criminals have large networks and do extensive research on how to target victims.
“Cybercrime has really become the new organized crime,” Kolenbrander said.
He said individuals and IT departments should have plans in place to prevent becoming victims and to react to significant cyber events.
“It's not if it happens to you, it's when it happens to you,” Kolenbrander said.
While having a plan and being educated are key, common sense also should be used, Metz said. People should be especially cautious when opening email from an unfamiliar source.
The annual conference continues today with general meeting sessions, awards and other events.
Rotary District 5650 is made up of 2,400 members from 45 clubs in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
Club members are business and professional leaders who work on service projects locally, regionally and internationally.