Cyber weapons and sophisticated hacking are more of a threat to the United States than ever before. The U.S. is battling an array of cyber threats from hostile governments to extremist groups, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
"Cyber has become the biggest threat that we face in any of our threat areas," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bryan Smith, Cleveland FBI. Just about every type of crime the FBI investigates has gone high tech. There is some cyber component, said Smith.
"Whether you are talking about terrorism, or counterintelligence or criminal, there is a cyber component to all of it," added Smith.
The Cleveland office has more squads and more agents trained to fight cyber crimes, and they look to recruit people who can fight cybercrime.
Students at Baldwin Wallace University are learning to do just that; Meredith Kasper is one of them. She is getting a close up look at the threats at her internship. "We can see a burst of activities from foreign IP addresses across 20 or 30 companies," she explained.
The university shifted its computer program to focus on cybersecurity to keep up with the growing demand.
"We actually migrated our program from network administration to cybersecurity. We saw a big demand for cybersecurity professionals and cybersecurity analysts," said Associate Professor Ken Atchison.
He said the students get real-life experience in collegiate competitions that put them to the test of defending a computer system, as well as hacking into a mock business computer system. The students have done very well, he said, placing in both regional and national competitions.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The FBI suggests using antivirus software, having a good password, and being careful about what you open and share on social media.