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Tips for Cyber Security Awareness Month

Are you #CyberAware? Cyber Security Awareness MonthAre you #CyberAware? October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. It’s a great time to review the online security practices you use at home, as well as at school or at work. When we all work together to prevent cyber attack, the internet as a whole can get safer.

Individuals can protect their computers and networks by following some of these simple tips:

  • Apply patches and updates as soon as they are available. Sure, it can be annoying to continually run updates on your computer. But take a lesson from the massive WannaCry attack. It took advantage of a system vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Updating Windows prevented the attack. Yet many outdated computers were affected for lack of an upgrade. (2017, Saito)
  • Never click on links that seem suspicious. Sometimes the email may be from someone you know. But if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. When in doubt, reach out to the person who sent you the link another way to make sure the link is legitimate before clicking.
  • Practice good password hygiene. Make sure your passwords are long, use a combination of symbols and letters, and are changed frequently.

In addition to the above tips, businesses should also keep in mind the NIST Security Framework. This framework includes:

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

Learn more about the framework, and how to apply each of these steps for your business, at StaySafeOnline, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Everyone needs to do their part to prevent cyber attacks, and Cyber Security Awareness Month is a great time to start. The number one key is to educate yourself on the tricks cyber criminals use, so you can defend against these attacks.

Ready to learn more about cyber security, or even considering a cyber security or ethical hacking career? Check out the IEEE online course programs: Cyber Security for Today’s Environment and Hacking Your Company: Ethical Solutions to Defeat Cyber Attacks. These courses will give you a solid foundation in the basics of cyber security to prepare you to defend your company’s network from cyber attack.

How do you defend against cyber attack? Please share your tips in the comments below.

 

References

Saito, W. (2017, May 18). 9 Ways to Stay Safe from Cyber Attacks.  World Economic Forum.

Stay Safe Online powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance. (2017) https://staysafeonline.org/

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Should you Hire an Ethical Hacker?

Should you Hire an Ethical Hacker? from IEEE

With cyber attacks on the rise, how can you ensure your organization’s digital work space is secure? More and more, companies are looking to train or hire an ethical hacker for help in finding and fixing security issues. Ethical hackers, also referred to as “white hat” hackers or bug bounty hunters, find flaws to help companies instead of exploit them (Sharma, 2016). While some major companies such as Facebook and Google offer rewards programs open to any interested ethical hackers, not everyone is sold on the idea.

So what does an ethical hacker do? With your permission, ethical hackers test your system as an unethical hacker would, and report on findings so any problems may be fixed. In order to stay updated with the latest skills, however, ethical hackers often disguise themselves in order to gain information from the underground. Knowing that they come in close contact with malicious hackers in doing so can be enough to make some uneasy about hiring an ethical hacker.

Some “grey hat” hackers fall in between the spectrum of ethical and unethical hackers, finding vulnerabilities legally or illegally and then sharing that information with other hackers as well as officials. One may seek out these hackers to learn from their findings, or even attempt to follow in their footsteps. Some companies allow their own security experts to venture into the domain of grey hacking, though they must be extremely careful to obtain information without making themselves vulnerable in the process.

Your company can take multiple routes when it comes to defending your network; hiring an ethical hacker or supporting ethical hacking from within are just a few options to consider. Ultimately, the choice you make depends on what best protects your company.

For tips on ethical hacking for your company’s technical professionals, check out IEEE’s new course: Hacking Your Company: Ethical Solutions to Defeat Cyber Attacks.

References:

Conran, B. (2014, March 1). Why not to hire an ethical hacker. Security Magazine.

Sharma, S. (2016, April 1). Bug bounty hunters and the companies that pay them. Gadgets 360.

 

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Inside the Murky World of Hackers for Hire

Ethical Hacking is a Critical Component of Network Security

Ethical hackers, those that identify the system vulnerabilities of organizations before they can be exploited by malicious hackers, perform a valuable service that is gaining increasing attention around the world. In this article from The Telegraph, learn about HackerOne, a network of self-employed ethical hackers that help organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom to secure their systems, and earn lucrative financial rewards for doing so.

Click here to read this article on The Telegraph

 

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