AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)-- Augusta will soon be known as the cyber security hub for the state of Georgia-- and possibly the nation.
Local I.T. leader, EDTS, announced its plans to expand today. While Augusta University also brought an expert to discuss the hot topic.
Cyber security is an issue permeating all industries, including health care.
With the growing need for protection, EDTS will be expanding its operations to include cyber security, bringing 100 jobs to the area.
The global security expert, Michael McNeil, explained why network security is at an all time high.
"It's identity fraud on steroids," McNeil, Global Security Officer at Philips, said.
Charles Johnson, Founder and CEO of EDTS, said I.T. will no longer be the company's main focus-- cyber security is the front line to data protection.
"But really cyber security is much more advanced than anti-virus or anti-malware. It's very specific tools, very specific skill sets and training that has to be had to provide that level of service," Johnson explained.
McNeil said all organizations dealing with client personal information need protection, not only for the company's reputation but for the client's safety. He said devices in the health field are very powerful and all inter-connected.
"So, if you want to go in and get an MRI or CT scan, the hospital would do the scan and have to wait for that report to come back, now you can connect through those devices instantaneously," McNeil explained.
He said this technology comes with risks, though. Hackers have the ability to use malware to access patients' records. McNeil said they can do more than sell patient information for others to get insurance through the victim's identity.
"At worst case, they can manipulate how a medical device functions, and if they can manipulate the treatment, they can manipulate the patient's safety," McNeil said.
"We need more areas of cyber security. Having a major hub with the institute, with Augusta, with AU is definitely critical. I work across the globe, and I think this is a major first," McNeil told NewsChannel 6.
McNeil admitted there have been demonstrations that hackers have the capability to impact the Marketplace, which is why cyber security organizations and researchers are working closely to update systems so this won't take place.
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