International edition
September 27, 2021

Following six cyberattacks on Oklahoma's tribal casinos

Nebraska's tribal gaming operators on alert against ransomware

Nebraska's tribal gaming operators on alert against ransomware
The IT Director of Ho-Chunk, Inc. Jerry Beavers, said: "We get thousands of attempts on a daily basis.”
United States | 06/24/2021

The IT Director of Ho-Chunk, Inc, which is run by the Winnebago Tribe and will operate upcoming casinos in the state, said the cybersecurity software must constantly be updated. A congressional hearing will be held on Thursday to discuss cybersecurity requirements. Local experts say the best protection method is a preemptive defense.

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he FBI is currently investigating cyberattacks on casinos in several states. Most recently, six tribal casinos were targeted in Oklahoma. Local experts say the best way to protect Nebraska organizations is preemptive defense, reports News Channel Nebraska.

The IT Director of Ho-Chunk, Inc. Jerry Beavers, said: "We get thousands of attempts on a daily basis”. Beavers’ company is run by the Winnebago Tribe.

"Think of it as an alarm system, but you have to make sure the alarms are on," he said, explaining that you have to keep updating the cybersecurity software, running system checks, and updating it. "Hackers are always learning new tricks," he continued.

Ho-Chunk, Inc. does not have a set policy with how to respond to a ransomware attack, should one ever be successful. Rather, it prepares with backups, firewalls, VPN, and setting separate credentials for admin functions.

Mark Peters, with the U.S. Air Force Intelligence, noted: "Ransomware is just one type of malware." He told NCN that organizations need to strike a balance between these protection methods and privacy. When it starts to cross the privacy line, we start to see concerning breaches of personal space, he said.

Peters said people can take steps to protect their own personal privacy with better passwords, even going so far as to invest in cyber insurance. Perhaps one of the most common mistakes when it comes to cybersecurity, is those pesky phishing emails.

Beavers added: "Verify those emails, don't click on their links." He explained that if he gets a link from what looks like a verified company, he'll do research into it, and go about any other method possible rather than clicking on a URL from an email.

Many companies will also be waiting for a congressional hearing on Thursday, with the possibility of new cybersecurity requirements from the Department of Defense. Ho-Chunk Inc. has said there is concern companies may not be able to meet those standards.

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