National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

By Drew M Smith

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NSCA) is celebrating their 15th iteration of National Cyber Awareness Month in October. The initiative is to raise awareness of how much the internet plays a major role in our lives and what could happen if we don’t safeguard ourselves to outside cyber threats.

In the last year, multiple wide scale hacks against groups such as Facebook and Reddit understandably made many people nervous. The month of October is all about taking a step back and reviewing what you can do to prevent your company’s data from being stolen or cloned. The easiest way to protect yourself is by following the recommended guidelines.

  • First you should develop a Cyber Safety Security Checklist. A checklist will help you and your company stay focused on what’s important to remember and will ensure you are staying up to date on how to protect yourself from threats. One of the main points that should be highlighted in your list include evaluating risks for all cloud and third party’s that your company is affiliated with.
  • Another important note is to establish procedures for public and guest Wi-Fi at your firm. Many hackers can use vulnerable access points to break into your network, so establishing who can use the Wi-Fi and which one to use is important to keep the unknowns from entering your servers. For example, one company ended up getting hacked because a restaurant next door had an open Wi-Fi and the hackers used it to infect electronic menus to break into the company.
  • You should lock down access to USB’s. This tactic is useful in keeping viruses and other hacking tools from entering your servers. They aren’t as secure as your computers and they could come from anywhere.
  • Finally, to prevent your entire network from being brought down from one hack, you should have a separate system for all your technology. This can range from your phones, to your fax machines to even your T.V.’s. Hackers, for example, can target phone systems to rack up thousands of dollars in charge of which your company will be held liable for.

In the event you are breached, there are things you can do beforehand to limit the damage. Cyber coverage is becoming increasingly popular as the amounts lost are skyrocketing. Teaching your employees what to look for is essential. The more knowledge you give your employees about cybersecurity, the more vigilant your company will be. Finally, keep track of trends in the cyber industry as a small issue could spiral out control.

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