ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Ransomware, phishing attacks, and identity theft – with cybercrime on the rise, the state’s Cybersecurity Conference kicked off Tuesday at the Empire State Plaza. Over 1000 cybersecurity professionals gathered to improve the security across the state.

With an increase of people working from home since the pandemic, cyber attackers see it as an opportunity to grab internet users’ sensitive information. Especially when home Wi-Fi tends to lack strong network security usually found at the office. 

“Whether you’re working from home, or you just do your banking at home, or you’re an international scale business, cybersecurity is certainly at the forefront of everyone’s concern,” said Randall Laudermilk VP of Business Development at Carson & SAINT.

According to a 2021 data breach report by Verizon, small businesses are often at risk for these attacks because they have less employees and resources to mitigate the issue; but it’s not just small business, it’s countries as well. 

“The world is at war, Russia and Ukraine, but under that war there are a number of cyber-attacks going on right now. They’re always trying to attack our banking industry, they’re always looking at our military infrastructure, they’re always looking at Government infrastructure as a whole.” Angelo ‘Tony’ Riddick, the Chief Information Officer for NYS says these are areas of vulnerability the state wants to ensure are secure. 

And for the average user, he says the key to combating cyber-attacks is staying aware, “Double check your finances, double check your email accounts, double check your social media accounts, there’s a lot of things that the regular resident can do to keep themselves secure. Don’t think that you’re not a vulnerability.”