3 Key Takeaways About Cyber Helpline USA
- Cyber Helpline USA is based on the framework of the UK version, Cyber Helpline, which has been in operation since 2017, to help victims of cybercrime who don’t have access to cyber professionals.
- The helpline is run by well-trained volunteers supported by IT professionals and cybersecurity experts who understand how to protect victims and handle such cases.
- While volunteers do not access or configure anyone’s device, they provide guidance to determine if a crime occurred, tailored advice based on basic security practices, and further counsel if needed.
NetDiligence® President Mark Greisiger and SecurIT360 Founder and CEO David Forrestall discuss Cyber Helpline USA, a new cybercrime helpline designed to help individuals, sole practitioners, and small businesses navigate cybercrime and protect their assets.
In addition to being a managing partner at SecurIT360, David Forrestall has previous experience as a senior manager of security, senior systems engineer, internal consultant, and chief information officer. With his deep IT expertise, he is focused on keeping companies ahead of the cyber curve and providing support to victims of cybercrime.
Watch the video for the full discussion with Mark and David, or read on for some of the highlights. This article is part of our continuing education discussions with cyber professionals.
What Is Cyber Helpline USA?
Organizations that have the resources to hire and retain IT help do so–but for individuals who are victims of cybercrime, where can they turn for help?
This is precisely the question that David Forrestall, CEO of SecurIT360, wondered when he stumbled across Cyber Helpline, a UK-based organization that assists individuals and entities with questions related to cybercrime.
Many people don’t have access to an expert who can help them navigate a potential cybercrime, and Cyber Helpline was bridging the gap between individuals who experienced a cyber attack and the resources they needed to successfully navigate it.
Inspired by the work that Cyber Helpline was doing, David began forming a similar framework for what is now known as Cyber Helpline USA.
Cyber Helpline USA is based on the original UK helpline. It is an organization composed of volunteers, IT professionals, and cybersecurity experts who dedicate their time, knowledge, and resources to helping victims of cyberattacks.
Who Is Cyber Helpline USA Intended for?
Cyber Helpline USA is intended for individuals and even sole practitioners who believe they are victims of cybercrime. However, people who own businesses, such as law firms, small businesses, or non-profits, wouldn’t be turned away.
These are regular people or professionals who otherwise don’t have access to IT help or cybersecurity experts when a cybercrime occurs. They may not even be sure a crime occurred; if they are, they may be unsure what to do about it or how to further protect their assets.
Cyber Helpline USA has the IT know-how, cyber professionals, and well-trained volunteers to help people navigate a potential cyber crime and receive the guidance, resources, and advice they need to mitigate the loss.
How Can Victims of Cyber Attacks Benefit From Cyber Helpline USA?
When someone has experienced a potential cybercrime, the people at Cyber Helpline USA attempt to properly diagnose the problem.
The person contacting the cyber crime helpline may not be sure exactly what happened, especially if they do not have IT knowledge or experience. They might have guessed what happened, so the trained helpline staff will help determine the facts to see if a crime occurred.
For example, if a person has experienced a financial loss, it’s important to determine whether the breach was on a credit card or bank account. This helps them know if changing account passwords is necessary in addition to contacting the bank or creditor.
These are basic steps, but people may not know to take them. Experiencing a potential cybercrime can be a very emotional and challenging situation for the victim, so our volunteers are trained to work with these victims and walk them through the steps to determine what happened and what they can do about it.
Cyber Helpline USA does not log into anyone’s device or configure things for them. Instead, they attempt to be the voice of reason that leads them to the most likely cause of the problem and give them best practices for securing things.
Who Are the Professionals Working This Cyber Crime Helpline?
The people behind Cyber Helpline USA are not just volunteers reading from a script. They must take an in-depth training that is many hours long and includes 8-10 courses and a test. They also receive coaching on how to work with victims of cybercrime who are emotionally escalated or upset.
At the back end of the helpline are IT professionals and cybersecurity experts who are familiar with these potential crimes and how to best diagnose and navigate them. So when a person contacts Cyber Helpline USA, they get access to expert guidance, in-depth guides, trained professionals, and experienced people in the cyber community.
What Happens When Someone Contacts the Helpline?
When someone contacts the cyber crime helpline, they will engage with a chatbot with an over 80% accuracy rate. The chatbot gets many cases to resolution simply by directing people to the right self-help guide.
However, if a person goes to the relevant guide and still feels like they need help, they will get paired with a volunteer who will work the case one-on-one with the victim at absolutely no charge. The funding is all supported through other non-profits and corporate donations.
How to Get Involved
Cyber Helpline USA officially started on June 1, 2023, in the United States. Charlotte Hooper, a UK-based IT professional, is leading the efforts to get the helpline off the ground. SecurIT360 is excited to establish the helpline as a known resource for victims of cybercrime.
If you’re a cyber professional and want to give your time, or you’re in the cyber community and want to contribute to funding, visit The Cyber Helpline USA.
To learn more about NetDiligence and our solutions for changing how companies prepare for and respond to modern-day cyber risks, visit NetDiligence.com/solutions.
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