NCFTA: the Local Cyber Company You Don't Know

Oct 19, 2015

The National Cyber Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) is a little-known non-profit operating out of the Second Avenue Technology Corridor. NCFTA President Emeritus Maria Vello sat down with us to discuss how the organization is bringing together federal agents, academics and business security workers in the fight against hackers. 

"We’re absolutely there for the greater good. So although probably most of Pittsburgh has never heard about the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance; we’ve been in existence since 1997,” says Vello.

Since its beginnings the organization has evolved and become more sophisticated than ever. According to Vello, “Fifteen years ago we used to say these cyber criminals are sophisticated. It is beyond your imagination what they can do.

While the news of companies and federal agencies being hacked seems to be happening with greater frequency. How does the NCFTA convince companies to work with them once they’ve been hacked? A large part of it has to do with the organizations desire to stay out of the media spotlight. Another reason, says Vello,”Is the impact sharing information can have to their reputation, their brand and the economic impact it can have on their companies.”

Big business and government agencies aren’t the only organizations vulnerable to hacking. With so many people living their lives online everyone is at risk of having their information hacked.

“You have to be really vigilant about your personal information and security. We have to change our behavior. Until people change their behavior we’re always going to be at risk,” says Vello.

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