Governmental entities, businesses, and citizens are confronted with an alarming number of sophisticated threats every day. As the number and complexity of threats to our businesses and infrastructure continue to evolve, the Little Rock Field Office of the FBI is redoubling its efforts to share critical information, provide insights into emerging cyber threats, and protect our communities from malicious actors.

Cyber risk is business risk, and there is no shortage of recent examples of the wide-ranging economic effects wrought by cyberattacks. While media attention has been significantly focused on ransomware over the past year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an annual report demonstrating Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes cost U.S. businesses more than $2 billion last year alone.

Although cyber threats often originate from locations elsewhere in the world, victims in Arkansas deserve a rapid, local response. To meet this objective, the FBI has placed a strong emphasis on developing its cyber workforce.

They mentioned having numerous cyber-trained agents throughout Arkansas, and each has significant threat response, counterintelligence, domestic intelligence, and computer intrusion expertise. The article added that they can put a cyber-trained FBI Special Agent on any doorstep in this state within three hours.

In addition to the resources they’ve placed around Arkansas, the FBI has dedicated teams out of Washington D.C. which provide specialized support to victims of cyber intrusions.

The Cyber Action Team (CAT) is a technical investigative team that rapidly deploys nationally and internationally to assist with complex intrusions and cyber incidents. The FBI also has a Recovery Asset Team (RAT) that acts quickly to help victims recover funds that otherwise would be lost to cyber criminals. In 2021, RAT used the Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) over 1,700 times and was able to successfully freeze more than $328 million. That money was then rightfully returned to business victims of cyber fraud.

The FBI’s current cyber strategy focuses on imposing real risk to adversaries through consequences. Many conclusions may be gathered from this example of partnership between the FBI and private industry, and from the perspective of the FBI the key takeaways are these: if Arkansas businesses and organizations don’t report cyber incidents, we can’t provide the resources to help. We can’t help you recover company assets and data without knowing you’ve lost them. We also can’t warn other businesses that might fall victim to the same attack in the future.

Perhaps most importantly, the quicker they receive a report of a cyber incident, the faster they can take action.

The FBI is encouraging business owners to take the proactive step of becoming a partner with FBI Little Rock before you experience a cyber intrusion. They added that they can provide world-class capabilities, international reach, and critical information about ongoing vulnerabilities and cyber intrusions. If your company does become the victim of an attack, they will work closely with you to thoroughly investigate the matter while assisting with incident response

If you are an Arkansas business leader or cyber professional, give FBI Little Rock a call at 501- 221-9100 to discuss what resources we can provide.