Advice for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019
It's here - October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Read up on some useful tricks, scary statistics, and practices to avoid this Halloween season.
What are you doing to keep your data infrastructure safe from cyber threats this Fall? Whether you are an IT professional, manager, or active tech user, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a time to evaluate the state of your current security software and address any potential vulnerabilities. Staying ahead of hackers, malware and viruses can make all the difference in protecting yourself.
As a start, here are a some tips moving forward to help address cybersecurity risk:
Do – stay on top of patch management. According to research completed by the Ponemon Institute, in the past year 50% of all SMB systems were breached, and 57% of those breached could have avoided it by applying a patch available for over a decade. Ensure your systems are up-to-date.
Don’t – think you are immune to cybercrime. CNBC estimates that in 2017, issues with cybersecurity cost the world over $600 billion, and costs are estimated to grow to $6 trillion in 2021. The massive data breaches of companies like Equifax and Yahoo dominate headlines, but smaller businesses are equally threatened. The Ponemon Institute found that 61% of small businesses reported some kind of cyber-attack in 2018, up 55% from the previous year. Cyber attacks wear down business infrastructure, which in turn can damage company reputation and shrink profits. Maintaining security is paramount for companies and individuals alike.
Do – practice active and secure password management. This means being creative and complex with your password selection. Tired of remembering all your passwords? Try using a password manager that can keep your information consolidated and available at all times.
Don’t – connect to unsecured, unfamiliar networks. If you must use these networks, such as in an airport or public place, avoid accessing sensitive information on them. An unencrypted internet connection allows hackers to access data easily. For more on this, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently put out a helpful toolkit which speaks to password and network protection, linked here.
Do – ensure you are downloading the latest security and antivirus software. That means keeping active tabs on software updates across your managed devices and providing regular updates where appropriate. Your IT infrastructure should be able to incorporate antivirus capabilities. For example, Complete Remote Monitoring and Management solutions like LogMeIn Central have antivirus included in their subscription, giving you and your IT team a bit more piece of mind and greater control all within one console.
Don’t – take a completely passive approach to cybersecurity. While a passive approach is an important first line of defense, this needs to be supplemented with active cybersecurity management to ensure all threats are protected against.
Have a happy and healthy October, and stay safe!