Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Simple Tips for your Kentucky Business
Why is Cybersecurity important?
Cybersecurity is the protection of networks, devices, and data from being accessed by criminals for unlawful use. It’s rare to find a Kentucky organization that does not use technology for its business. From the plumber’s invoicing list, to Target’s credit card transactions, our lives rely on computers systems and the Internet. It’s reasonable to assume much of your personal information is stored either on your computer, smartphone, tablet or possibly on someone else’s system, such as your employer or your doctor. Knowing how to protect the information you have stored is of high importance not just for an individual but also for an organization. In its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is observed to educate the public, not only on the importance of cybersecurity across America, but to ensure we all have the resources to be safer and more secure online.
Cybersecurity at Work
Businesses face significant financial loss when a cyber attack occurs. In 2020, a sharp increase was reported in cyberattacks that target businesses using stolen logins and passwords. A company’s employees themselves are the weakest link. Uneducated employees may click on malicious links or fail to update their machines properly, allowing cybercriminals to gain access to an entire company network. True cybersecurity requires the vigilance of everyone to keep data, customers, and capital safe and secure – from the c-level suite to the newest hire.
How Criminals Lure You In
Human error accounts for 95% of all cybersecurity breaches. A malicious email can be disguised to look like the sender is the company’s financial institution, the company’s attorney, or even the company CEO. These emails can contain links to malicious websites, be used to collect personal and company information, or infect your machine with malware and/or viruses. To reduce risk, a business’s network defense procedures should be implemented and monitored.
The following guidelines can facilitate managing risk and mitigating threat:
- By stealing credentials, a cyber criminal can obtain victim identity information.
- Criminals create new email accounts and hack existing ones to conduct social engineering attacks.
- Spear phishing emails are sent containing malware and malicious attachments.
- Malware is used to exploit software vulnerabilities in applications.
Schedule Your FREE Network Assessment!
Schedule Your FREE Network Assessment!
Simple Cybersecurity Tips
Use antivirus software.
Antivirus software is essential, automatically detecting, quarantining, and removing types of malware. Antivirus software should always be enabled to ensure maximum protection against the latest known threats.
Keep software up to date.
A clean machine with up-to-date software will reduce the risk of infection from malware. Work with your IT team to initiate automatic updates for your operating system and install software patches when necessary.
Utilize a firewall.
Business network firewalls blocks potentially malicious web traffic based on a set of security rules. It also restricts unnecessary outbound communications.
Utilize strong passwords.
Passwords provide the first line of defense against cyber criminals. The more difficult the password, utilizing upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols, the more protected your computer will be. Do not use the same password for more than one program.
Double your login protection.
Enable two-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication (MFA), to ensure that you are the only person who has access to your account. MFA requires a secondary device to prove you are the person attempting to login to an account.
Watch for Phishing.
Do not reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations. Be suspicious of unexpected emails and contact the sender by phone to confirm unusual requests.
As cyber-attacks and their consequences continue to grow, the need for managed IT services by a responsible and professional third-party IT firm have become increasingly important. Attackers use a variety of vulnerabilities and phishing attacks, and a reputable cybersecurity company offers the expertise needed to provide quality service. Contact 46Solutions today for a free IT consultation.
Eric Del Valle is the business development manager for 46Solutions. He studied computer information systems (CIS) at the University of Louisville and brings a decade of technology sales experience to the company. He enjoys Florida football, craft beer, and spending time with his wife and two children.