Malware and viruses can hide in your cellphone and dive into your computer when you plug your phone in for a charge. Then they can capture everything you type, including your banking passwords, said Joseph Saracino, CEO of Cino Ltd. Companies in Coram, which provides cyber-security education and risk management. Cyber threats change every day, so staying ahead of the curve is key, he said. This year industry research showed that malware even grew fivefold for Macintosh computers, which were once considered safer from viruses.
Saracino, who served in the Navy as an intelligence officer, launched the insurance and risk management side of his business 28 years ago. The company now also offers security services including keystroke encryption, facial recognition and behavior analytics -- to recognize people by the way they move or walk -- along with cyber insurance, surveillance and panic-button alert systems.
What are the most sought-after data?
Most people think it's credit cards, but it's really the health records that are probably the most valuable on the street, believe it or not.
There are a lot of services that can be received before that record is ever identified as compromised. So someone can get pharmacy, be seen by a doctor, even have an operation. Health care records are very, very important to protect, especially when you have the electronic medical records being transferred.
You can transfer malware just by charging your phone?
Charging phones into computers is a transference of data. Malware can be written to where you're plugging your smartphone into your system and transferring data into that system.
What do you stress in your educational presentations?
How to protect your data from the personal side to the business side. I want you to go home and say, hey, look, I'd better check my phone, or I better check my settings, or I better go to my computer and check my passwords. I'd better change them up and make sure that I don't have a manufacturer's default password on my Wi-Fi system, because all that data can be compromised.
How can people protect themselves?
When you encrypt data at least you can render the data ineffective. So that's not saying it's going to take the malware out of your system. Some malware can lay dormant in your system over a year before it's launched. You don't know where you picked it up, and 80 percent of what is being deemed as a "hack" comes from key loggers.
What's a key logger?
Malware that identifies all the keystrokes you plug into your system. So if you go to your bank's website, you put in your username and your password; it is able to pick that up. Some actually take a picture of your screen. We partner with a company that makes patented keystroke encryption software. And when you're on your phone, we have it to where you are able to encrypt all your data.
What don't people realize?
All of the information that you agree to give up on your phone. If you have an iPhone, they're able to collect photos and contact information, voice and text messages. Everything that you do, they're able to collect. And if you really start to look at what you're getting in your email, you're getting phished every single day. People click on things today that they think are legitimate sites; they look so real.
How do you help other veterans?
I work on education programs for vets when they're transitioning from the military to civilian occupations. We'll take 30 or 40 veterans and expose them to unique occupations and also look at their backgrounds and try to match them up with [fields] they may not be aware of that they could fit into.
NAME: Joseph Saracino, CEO of Cino Ltd. Companies in Coram
WHAT IT DOES: Cyber-security education, risk management and insurance
EMPLOYEES: 8 full time, 5 on Long Island; 14 part time; 60 contractors
REVENUE: $4.5 million to $5.5 million