Mobile Training Unit Helps Tampa Companies Combat Cyberattacks


Tampa companies combat cyberattacks with help of mobile training unit

Lloyd Sowers reports

TAMPA, Fla.The newest weapon against cyberattacks is pulled by a pick-up truck. It’s called the Cyber Trailer, and it could be headed for your workplace. 

It’s a mobile classroom where IT professionals can be trained on software and hardware designed to detect and thwart cyberattacks.

Trainees step inside to a will of monitors and keyboards where they experience how a ransomware attack would unfold in real life. Joe Edwards of OPSWAT, a Tampa-based cybersecurity firm, showed FOX 13 how it works.

“It’s real-life ransomware that essentially will encrypt a computer’s hard drive and then not allow you to use the computer until you pay a ransom and get the encryption key,” he explained.

The OPSWAT system recognizes the threat and sends an alert so that – hopefully – technology teams can stop the attack before it’s too late.

According to OPSWAT’s founder and CEO, Benny Czarny, nearly every company, no matter the size or sector, is a potential target for a cyberattack.

“Manufacturing, water, energy, banking, government, the military, that would be the type of customers that we work with,” says Czarny, who leads a company that now employees over 500 and is growing exponentially.

OPSWAT is one of several cybersecurity companies that recently moved to the Tampa Bay Region. Wednesday, business and education leaders were invited to the company’s headquarters at Sky Center near Tampa International Airport.

“Florida made a strategic decision a number of years ago to try and grow its high-tech high skill, high wage industries and OPSWAT is a big player in that,” says Randy Avent, president of Florida Polytechnic University, who attended the event. 

The school recently introduced a cybersecurity program that brings together electrical engineering and computer science under one curriculum. Avent says the program is now one of the school’s most popular offerings.

With no end in sight to the threat of cyberattacks, the growth of cybersecurity will likely roll on, in this case, on the wheels of the Cyber Trailer.

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