The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, according to the US Department of Homeland Security. However, with access to so much information comes an increase in cyber-attacks that can affect people and companies on a global scale. In 2016, there was a 38% increase in phishing security attacks year over year according to a report produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The techniques that attackers use is also evolving, with attacks that continue to affect more computers and devices than ever before. (2017 Revision Legal) Every organization wants to improve cyber security, but the prospect can sometimes seem overwhelming.
The news in 2017 has been equally daunting with reports of serious cyber breaches that effect individuals and companies. Some of the more serious instances include a recent security breach to credit-reporting agency Equifax, a Gmail phishing campaign, US IRS data breach, and the British health system shutdown that affected administering medical attention to patients all over the UK.
With such widespread attacks, how do you protect yourself? How do you protect your company?
Sometimes it is the most basic steps that will improve cyber security for your organization, and make it harder for the hackers to be successful. (2017 Wired)
- Stay sharp on techniques hackers are using. Training will help you identify and avoid the traps and improve cyber security.
- Always Think Before Clicking
- Sometimes it is as simple as trust your gut. Many times, we notice something that bothers us, but we cannot identify what it is. Always trust your instincts. If it does not feel right, do not click on the link or open that email.
- Consider the Source
- Have you received information from this sender before? Is the offer too good to be true? Sometimes taking a few moments to read the full email address or researching who the sender is will help you sidestep a pitfall.
- Use Security Back-Ups
- Take advantage of security options when available like enabling multi-factor authentication on accounts, using a password manager or other system to help in maintaining strong passwords, and backing up your data.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Why not use this as an opportunity to have your staff become more aware of their cyber surroundings and in turn protect themselves and the company as you improve cyber security throughout the organization.
Does your organization need cyber security training? IEEE offers both cyber security and ethical hacking training to help organizations prepare. Learn more about organization pricing and request a quote here.
(2017, Aug 11) National Cyber Security Awareness Month. US Department of Homeland Security.
Newman, L. (2017, Mar 19) Phishing Scams Even Fool Tech Nerds—Here’s How to Avoid Them. Wired.
DiGiacomo, J. (2017, Jun 21) 2017 Security Breaches: Frequency and Severity on the Rise. JD Supra.