Online safety: What Columbia's cyber security summit means for you

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Staying safe online one of the topics stressed at Thursdays cyber summit in Columbia.

Mayor Steve Benjamin leading the event along with help from the federal government and IT-oLOGY.

Our systems are updated that we are aware of literally the millions of different type of viruses that are put in systems every year, says Mayor Steve Benjamin.

The summit attracting several business owners, city leaders and even college students from across the Midlands.

The mayor says the City of Columbia is one out of nine cities nationwide that partners with the Multi-State Analysis Center to make sure Columbia TMs technology is up to date and protected.

Experts say businesses and government entities are targets for breaches and viruses thanks to growing technology.

Families with wi-fi also need to be careful.

"Data in a company used to be behind a firewall. But today with mobile technology, with the idea that we all have laptops we work from home. Really the office is a mobile office. That TMs created the situation where that data is no longer protected behind a firewall," says Lonnie Emard, Executive Director IT-oLogy.

Experts say companies need to be aware of open doors that lead to computer takeovers such as social media networks, USB drives, scams and even disgruntled employees.

"In an open network it treats everybody as a one in the same and anything you have on your computer that comes in when you have a flash drive, no matter how you have information that you run through that covered network, it becomes available to the world," says Emard.

Analysts say even small business owners need to invest in some type of I-T security to avoid any potential company shutdowns.

William F. Pelgrin was today's featured speaker. Pelgrin is president and CEO of the Center for Internet Security , a nonprofit that helps organizations cut down on risk by beefing up their technical security.