Every October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) join forces to drive cyber security awareness. Cybercrime is a constant threat to individuals and businesses, alike. In fact, the risk is so significant that the US government decided to step up and offer information and resources stressing the importance of cyber security and raise awareness on the best practices to utilize when protect your nonpublic information.
Here’s a brief overview of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) themes for 2017, followed by a video made by the DHS that shows the tremendous threat that we are faced with every day and what is being done to keep us safe.
- 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.
Months to Milliseconds
- Raise Awareness: Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s network and data.
- Updates and Patches: Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).
- Auto Update Security Software: Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
- Limit Super Users: Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and only use administrator accounts when necessary.
- Access Control: Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read-specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.
- Filters and Application Control: Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).
- Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan: Backup data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups to ensure redundancy.
- Multiple Storages: Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.
As a IT service provider, we are always looking to stress the importance of IT security – not just to our clients, but to the community as a whole. Please take a few seconds to share this blog and help us make everyone a bit more #CyberAware. Would you like to step up your cyber security efforts? Call the IT professionals at Iron Edge Group at (832) 910-9222 .