Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance & the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October 2004 and has been a continued focus in InfoSec communities each October since. On this first full week of October, we’re turning our focus toward spreading cybersecurity awareness to help members of our community and the organizations we serve do their part to #BeCyberSmart.

Each year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a call to action for individuals to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. At Fishtech Group, our mission is to lead organizations to a more secure future, but that security isn’t achieved by some vague corporate check box, but rather an every day, ongoing commitment from each and every one of us.

We each have a role to play in making sure we follow best practices to protect our devices and data to ensure the broader security of the individuals in our organizations.

We will be putting out new content every week for all of this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month themes. To start off this critical month, we wanted to highlight some quick tips in a “Cybersecurity Basics: Quick Refresh Guide” that will help to inform you about some basic areas of cybersecurity and lay the groundwork for your better overall awareness and understanding on the intricacies of cybersecurity and how you can #BeCyberSmart.

Cybersecurity Basics: Quick Refresh Guide

Ask any cybersecurity professional what the biggest threat is to a company, and most of them will say their employees, even if the threat isn’t intentional. Basic human error is a major contributing factor to 95% of security breaches (The Hacker News). Can you remember the last time you reviewed the login information for your personal and professional accounts or checked the security of your network connection? A few small changes just might save you from an account compromise.

Ready to implement a few upgrades to protect your information and access? Here’s your handy checklist of basic security features to add to or refresh your personal and professional accounts:

  1. Create strong passwords.
    • Ensure that your passwords contain upper and lowercase characters, symbols, and numbers. A random combination of these will make guessing your password and hacking into your personal accounts more difficult.
  2. Use at least two-factor authentication
    • Add an extra layer of protection to your login process by implementing one extra step. Instead of only submitting your login credentials to gain access to your account, set up a second method by confirming your access on a second device. For example, have a confirmation code send to your phone or email.
  3. Keep your software up to date
    • Ensure your operating system, applications and web browsers stay up to date by setting your updates to happen automatically. Many updates include security features, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of them!
  4. Backup your files
    • Be sure you have your important files backed up on an external drive or in the cloud. This way, if something unfortunate happens and you lose information on your device, you have it saved in another place.
  5. Be careful with public Wifi and Hotspots
    • Public wifi and hotspots are not secure internet connectors, so it’s easy to see the activity of others connected to the network. We recommend using a VPN and personal hotspot to access the internet instead.

We hope this handy checklist serves as a quick reminder of the basic, but necessary security practices. If you already have these in place, and we’re certain that most of you do, then a quick refresh won’t hurt. If you don’t, today is the perfect day to start!

Are you an organization looking to ramp up the basic security features you have in place? Our experts at Fishtech Group are standing by to help. Drop us a note below and our team will be in touch.

In the meantime, stay tuned through the rest of October as we continue empowering you to #BeCyberSmart this Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We’ll be back next week for a focus on phishing with ways you can better understand and fight back against these kinds of attacks.

Any questions? Fill out the form below to be connected with one of our experts.