It’s nearly October, and once again it’s time to make cybersecurity top of mind. While we are always thinking about best practices to keep your business safe and secure from cyber criminals, October is the time of year in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bring extra attention to the issue of security. This year there is a focus on the personal and professional connections and how they intersect, increasing the possibility of a hacker gaining access to one or both worlds.
As people being more dependant on technology becomes the norm, the line between our online and offline lives can become indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are intertwined. This means when there is a successful breach, the consumer and business alike are at risk and therefore impacted by a lack of effective cybersecurity.
To address this ongoing issue, the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month event (NCSAM) will focus on increasing awareness among consumers, students, educators/academia, and business. Moreover, an additional goal of NCSAM 2018 is to encourage growth and opportunities for promoting how we interact with technology and each other online. Finally, NCSAM 2018 will focus on the need to build a robust and cyber-aware workforce to support families, communities, businesses and the country’s infrastructure in an effort to be better protected.
Week 1 focuses on educating young people on how to stay safe in online spaces. Moreover, it’s designed to provide tools for the whole family to use, particularly caregivers. In many households, it is often the younger members who - being more tech-savvy - control how technology is used in the home, particularly online access; sometimes to their detriment.
Due to this lack of education or experience, parents can be unaware of the potential risk due to how they or their children access the internet. This first week is designed to underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can utilize to protect their homes against cyberthreats.
One concern families have are what types of careers will be available for their students as they make their way towards graduation from high school, higher education and beyond. As technology becomes more integrated into all aspects of our society, so do the opportunities to find meaningful careers in cybersecurity. However as will be discussed in week one, many of the decision makers are unaware of just how much cybersecurity affects their lives. This is particularly of concern considering in how many ways we are all always connected, 24/7.
Week 2 will address ways to educate and motivate parents, teachers, and counselors to learn more about the field, allowing them to better be prepared to inspire students and others to seek highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.
The most common reason for a successful cyberattack is due to human error. That is a team member clicks on a link and exposes the network to attack. Many times this mistake is due to team members treating their professional network, in the same fashion they manage their network at home. This is why it is critical that team members understand that online security and safety must be a shared responsibility. This means that cybersecurity needs - not only best practices - be taught to the team in ways that allow them to use the acquired knowledge at home. As the work/home connection becomes closer with BYOD, remote workforces and other uses which combine personal and professional use and users; understanding how to keep their home network secure will be critical to maintaining the office network’s security.
Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training, and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance, and resilience. NCSA’s CyberSecure My Business™ will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.
Many of us are unaware of how connected we are to each other and the nation in general. With so many devices connecting to the Internet, the ability for a bad actor to attack our infrastructure using residential hacks is a real possibility. With malware such as the VPNFilter, we can see how neglected hardware and out of date software can be used as a vector to attack the system. A disruption to this system, which is operated via the Internet, can have significant and even catastrophic consequences for our nation.
Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. Also, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
NCSAM believes that cybersecurity starts with everyone understanding their role in cybersecurity. In today’s connected society, it is more critical than ever that we all develop the skills necessary to not only protect our homes but our places of business as well. This year’s NCSAM program, Our Shared Responsibility,” strives to provide the foundation needed for all Internet users to become more aware, safe and responsible in their online practices.
As an 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 cybersecurity efforts? Call the IT professionals at KT Connections at 605-341-3873.