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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybercrime is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. From the largest enterprise to the individual, it can affect anyone, anywhere. To help ensure the cybersecurity of American citizens and their businesses, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies work together every October to raise awareness about the threats people face online through a series of educational events and activities.

  • Week 1: October 2-6 – Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety
    • This week highlights the things needed to keep consumers safe and ways to protect themselves. While it’s targeted more at individuals than businesses, they offer great resources for best practices that everyone should follow, both professionally and personally.
  • Week 2: October 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business
    • Next, DHS shows organizations how they can protect against cybercrimes that target them. There will be information on creating a cyber security culture among you and your employees.
  • Week 3: October 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet
    • The future has arrived and you need to be prepared. This week looks at emerging technology and how you can protect your nonpublic information moving forward.
  • Week 4: October 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
    • The demand for those with IT security experience has far surpassed the number of qualified candidates.
  • Week 5: October 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats
    • The final week is a bit more on the technical side, highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure. As a business owner, it will affect you at every level.

One of the things that every small business needs to understand is that cyber criminals are a constant threat to all business, even the smaller ones. The following video, Months to Milliseconds, takes a look at what the DHS deals with everyday as they attempt to keep cyber commerce up and running as safe as possible.

Months to Milliseconds

For those of you who would like to know what they can do to start improving their company's data security today, here’s a short list of things that the FBI recommends you and your business practice regularly to reduce the chance of falling victim to cyber criminals.

  • Raise Awareness: When it comes to cyber security, one thing you can start doing immediately is to make your staff cognizant of the threat of a ransomware infection.
  • Updates and Patches: Make sure to patch your operating systems, software, and firmware on all of your digital assets.
  • Auto Update Security Software: Lean on enterprise-level antivirus and anti-malware software to conduct regular scans and catch potential malware.
  • Limit Super Users: Ensure that you don’t just hand out administrator access to your mission-critical systems. Managing access is one of the best ways to keep untrustworthy entities out of your network.
  • Access Control: As stated above, access control is essential to ensure that you know who can and should be in parts of your network. If your users only need read-specific information, they don’t need write-access to files or directories, mitigating risk.
  • Filters and Application Control: Deploy software restrictions to keep programs from executing from location where ransomware may be found. This includes temporary folders found to support Internet browsers and compression/decompression programs.
  • Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan: Create data redundancy by having a comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place.
  • Multiple Storages: Ensure that each storage unit is stand-alone to avoid major problems with backups and other forms of storage.

Business owners and managers know how important your data is. We would love for you to share this blog to your social media to help us get the word out about the importance of being #CyberAware. For those of you that would like to learn more about our security solutions, contact (813) 749-0895 today!

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