National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Secure IT

October Cybersecurity Awareness Month at The Fulcrum Group

Each October, the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) creates an overarching theme for its initiatives to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. The theme for 2019 is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” NCSAM has a wealth of resources—available for free—to help leverage cybersecurity for prospects and existing customers. It is a great way to introduce unfamiliar clients with the topic and how it has become an (inter)national topic.

This post will focus on the Secure IT portion of the initiative and paraphrase a bit from the resource guides available. Secure IT is broken down into categories for exploration and to gain valuable insight into their importance in a secure world:

CREATING A PASSWORD

Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No citizen is immune to cyber risk, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of an incident.

A HOW-TO-GUIDE FOR MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Have you noticed how often security breaches, stolen data, and identity theft are consistently front-page news these days? Perhaps you, or someone you know, are a victim of cyber criminals who stole personal information, banking credentials, or more. As these incidents become more prevalent, you should consider using multi-factor authentication, also called strong authentication, or two-factor authentication. This technology may already be familiar to you, as many banking and financial institutions require both a password and one of the following to log in: a call, email, or text containing a code. By applying these principles of verification to more of your personal accounts, such as email, social media, and more, you can better secure your information and identity online!

5 WAYS TO BE CYBER SECURE AT WORK

Businesses face significant financial loss when a cyber attack occurs. In 2018, the U.S. business sector had the largest number of data breaches ever recorded: 571 breaches.1 Cybercriminals often rely on human error—employees failing to install software patches or clicking on malicious links—to gain access to systems. From the top leadership to the newest employee, cybersecurity requires the vigilance of everyone to keep data, customers, and capital safe and secure. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and support a culture of cybersecurity at your organization.

PHISHING

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your machine with malware and viruses in order to collect personal and financial information. Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that infects their computers, creating vulnerability to attacks. Phishing emails may appear to come from a real financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service, business, or individual. The email may also request personal information such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, attackers use it to access users’ accounts.

E-SKIMMING

The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We are able to shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records all online. These activities require you to provide personally identifiable information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. #BeCyberSmart when sharing personal information online to reduce the risk of becoming a cybercrimes victim. 

Every topic above has its own corresponding document with tips and information on how to prevent issues and which precautions to take when dealing with security. A lot of customers assume they are secure until they are not, then deal with the repercussions of a data breach. It is beneficial to leverage this information for customers and show how this topic has national attention and stress how it will not go away anytime soon.

Helpful links:

National Initiative For Cybersecurity Careers And Studies (NICCS)

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