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It’s Up to You to Be Cybersecure

Since 2004, the month of October has been declared as Cybersecurity Awareness month to help educate and encourage individuals and organizations to stay cybersecure. It promotes important information to help prevent a loss of data, ways to enhance security programs, prevent phishing scams and more.

Cybersecurity is important, now more than ever, to combat these threats. Every day, hackers are searching the web to find individuals and organizations that have missing security patches. If you think that you are just one individual surfing the web at home, a student completing their schoolwork, or maybe a small business that won’t be impacted, think again! Cyber threats are across the web, and they could impact you – no matter the size. For this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness month, it’s important to take the basic steps to protect yourselves, large or small, from cyber attacks.

Let’s take a deep dive into Cybersecurity and learn why you should See Yourself in Cyber.

How Can You Identify Cyber Threats?

As the internet continues to evolve, so too does cybercrime. Norton Internet Security estimates that there are more than 2,200 cyberattacks per day, which roughly translates to one cyber-attack every 39 seconds. Some of the most common tactics of hackers are:

  • Phishing scams
  • Payroll scams
  • Social Engineering Attacks 
  • Malware
  • Ransomware

These attacks may make you think of the technical components to cybersecurity, but in fact, 82% of data breaches in 2021 had a human element to them according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report. This is why it is so important to educate your staff on your corporate security program and how to react appropriately. But again, cyber attacks don’t only happen to companies. If you’re working from home and someone gets ahold of your Wi-Fi info, or even if you’re just using a personal device at a Starbucks, you can be attacked. 

What Happens When You Are Attacked?

These scams can steal your account numbers, social security numbers, banking transactions, and even Electronic Health Records (EHR) for companies in the Healthcare Industry. Even worse, they can lock you out of your system through a ransomware attack, encrypting your files on a device and making them unusable.

If you do not have your data backed up in the Cloud or in an off-site facility, you don’t have much to negotiate with. Usually, once these files have been breached and if you don’t have your data, attackers demand that you pay a ransom. Some may even take it as far as to sell your information to the dark web if you don’t. 

7 Things You Can Do Throughout October to be Cybersecure:

With Cyber threats looming, how can you reduce the chances of falling for scams? Start with learning the signs! Let’s take a look at the basics so you can keep yourself cyber safe.  

  1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: Employees working off-site while regularly accessing cloud-based platforms and sharing sensitive information on said platforms can pose significant cyber challenges to an organization. To mitigate this risk, company leaders should think about implementing multi-factor authentication to secure their systems. 
  2. Use Strong Passwords: When employees receive personal information through their company email address, this can create a potential breach point for cybercriminals. And of course, encourage your employees to use strong passwords and change them frequently. 
  3. Recognize and Report Phishing: Think before you open. Beware of fraudulent emails that look real from companies or co-workers. These individuals want you to reveal protected information such as passwords and credit card numbers. When in doubt, don’t click on any attachments. Report it to your IT department or your supervisor to get more clarification.
  4. Update Your Software: Not only should your organization ensure that all software is regularly updated to the latest versions, but updates and security patches should be done immediately when they become available. 
  5. Train your Staff on Important Safety Measures: Beyond minding how they handle their emails; all employees should be trained to detect a social engineering attack. Common red flags of a social engineering attack include requests for personal information, user information, shared credentials, and financial information.  
  6. Implement Cyber Security Audits: Cybersecurity audits do a deep dive into your organization’s existing security measures to detect vulnerabilities, risks, and potential threats.
  7. Have a Backup Plan: Having an IT backup plan may be the difference between a minor hiccup and a disaster of epic proportions.

Now that you know the basics of Cybersecurity, join in this October and celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness month by doing just that – spreading awareness! It’s important to do what you can to help by educating and encouraging individuals and organizations to stay cybersecure.

Photo Credit: Canva