By Bret Piatt
Oct 7, 2016
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is an annual campaign each October to raise awareness about cybersecurity started by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Internet security is now a fundamental requirement for business as we’re all online now to talk with customers, business partners, or suppliers.
Choosing and Protecting Passwords is step 1 to staying safe. At Jungle Disk we recommend using a password manager to setup unique passwords for each account online. With the number of online services these days it is impossible to remember a unique password for each and every service. For additional security many services support multi-factor authentication which is a great way to thwart hackers breaking into accounts when usernames and passwords are compromised.
Using Caution with Email Attachments is step 2 to staying safe. The most common social engineering attack vector is through email including both malicious links or attachments.
Safeguarding Your Data is step 3 to staying safe. Hackers want access to your computers for two reasons and #1 is to get your data as it has the most value and they’re commonly attacking it today with ransomware. The second reason is to use your resources as a launch pad for future attacks or other computing powered monetization strategies. Jungle Disk offers a free 90-second security test to determine if your network and data are safe from 7 common threats.
US-CERT, “Programs called password managers offer the option to create randomly generated passwords for all of your accounts. You then access those strong passwords with a master password. If you use a password manager, remember to use a strong master password.”
A username and password is ‘something you know’ and is the most common single-factor authentication. It is much more secure to add ‘something you have’ such as a PIN token using a physical device or secure application on your mobile device such as Google Authenticator. When you combine something you have with something you know now you’re using multi-factor authentication (also called two-factor authentication).
Ransomware is a new type of malware that kidnaps your data on your own computers and holds it hostage until you pay the attacker. Cisco’s 2016 mid-year cyber security report warns, ““We expect the next wave of ransomware to be even more pervasive and resilient. Organizations and end users should prepare now by backing up their critical data and confirming that those backups will not be susceptible to compromise.” For those that want further reading a great white paper is available from the SANS Institute called Ransomware Protection and Prevention (PDF Download).
We understand all of this is complicated and potentially overwhelming. If you’re a small business with 2-250 employees our team of data security experts are here to listen to how your business uses the internet and then they’ll help by putting together a security plan so you can meet your regulatory requirements and keep your company data safe and secure. You can contact us via phone, web chat, email, or web form.
To learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month visit StaySafeOnline.org or follow the #CyberAware tag on Twitter.
You can also listen to Cyber Talk Radio on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. Show archives are available on the Cyber Talk Radio website or directly on the Cyber Talk Radio YouTube Channel to learn more about what’s happening on the ‘dark web’.