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Cybersecurity Awareness: How to Be Cyber Smart

Locknet Managed IT
4 min read
October 08, 2021

Part of our series for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

As part of the monthlong push for Cybersecurity Awareness Month from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), this week, we're focusing on their theme: Be Cyber Smart. It's our goal this month, as always, to help you shore up your protection against cyber attackers with the knowledge you need, the expertise you can trust, and the technology proven to protect your data.

Where do I start, to Be Cyber Smart?

To Be Cyber Smart requires diligence every time and place you use technology. The terrifying truth is, every business is at risk for a cyber attack, no matter what size your organization is. In fact, attacks on small to enterprise-size businesses are growing, as cyber attackers know these businesses often don't have robust IT departments and the cutting-edge information they need to protect them. That's where cybersecurity consultants, like the experts at Locknet Managed IT®, come in, to bridge the gap and ensure small businesses and medium-sized businesses have the highest level of protection possible.

Taking a closer look, we can identify several focal areas for businesses, which, when adequately addressed, can improve an organization's cybersecurity strategy. Here are the primary areas CISA recommends businesses focus on this week to Be Cyber Smart.

Create a culture of cybersecurity at work

A cyberattack on any business is costly. And cyber-attackers get more sophisticated every day, leveraging any information they can capture to access your systems. Often the weakest link in an organization is also their greatest asset: their people. By ensuring your staff is properly and routinely trained on cybersecurity protocols, you can virtually eliminate the human error vulnerability of your enterprise. Creating a culture of cybersecurity at your organization means having a cybersecurity training schedule and network security protocols in place so that all members of your staff, from the new hire to the C-suite, know what's at stake and fully understand company policy when it comes to cybersecurity.

Be mindful of cybersecurity risks associated with travel

As the world returns to travel and businesses embrace remote working solutions, understanding the risks of accessing systems while away from the physical office is essential. Yet not connecting is simply not an option. Knowing how you can safely operate in the digital space, and the steps you can take to protect your devices and data are key. CISA offers a valuable cybersecurity tip sheet for travelers, which can help guide your online behavior whether at home or abroad.

Consider multi-factor authentication

The experts at Locknet Managed IT have posted about the value of multifactor authentication on our blog many times. Also known as strong authentication or two-factor authentication, this valuable security measure requires verification of a user's identity using several means: often a password and another code shared with you at the time of log in on a different device or platform. Simply put, adding multi-factor authentication to your user login offers a higher level of peace of mind that the users gaining access to the network are exactly who they say they are.

Be careful when sharing personal info

These days, we are sharing so much of ourselves online, it can be easy to take for granted the safety of doing so. Yet cyber-attackers dedicate themselves to gathering personal data, which can give them valuable fodder for accessing your data or even launching a sinister phishing attack (more on phishing next week). Protecting your personal information by limiting those who have access to it, including your date of birth, passwords, and account information is an important step in protecting your digital life and your business.

Think beyond the PC for protection

There is hardly a sector of our lives that doesn't depend on technology these days to run smoothly. Even our homes depend on devices to function. Think about the many devices of your home that are connected to the internet, and consider the fact that each one may pose a risk to your data security. Taking time to learn about the unique vulnerabilities and security risks posed by smart home devices is next-level cyber-smart.

Create better passwords

Cyber-attackers have technology that can generate passwords faster than our human minds can even comprehend. As a result, it's easier than ever for them to crack the code and gain access to your online accounts and information. By creating strong passwords or passphrases, you can better protect your accounts. Complex passwords that contain a variety of numbers, characters, and creative spelling of words can go a long way toward protecting your online data.

Be social-savvy

Social media sites encourage us to overshare, and many of us fall into the habit all too easily and without suspecting that someone might use that information against us. Yet location data, status updates, and even photos can give away far more information than you may think, and cyber-attackers are eager to gather that data. Educating yourself about the information you shouldn't post, or how to protect your social accounts, is an essential part of a cybersecurity strategy for home or the office.

Top tip: Engage a trusted cybersecurity consultant

There is a lot to know about cybersecurity and how to best protect yourself. Partnering with cybersecurity experts you can trust gives you an even higher level of protection against attack. With all that's at stake: company data, client information, financial security, and business reputation, it's simply not worth taking chances. If you're ready to start being cyber smart by partnering with the best network security provider in the upper midwest, we're here for you. Contact us to learn more about our full slate of offerings: from full-service protection to a la carte services, we can customize network security solutions that fit your business's cybersecurity needs.

Coming up next: Phight the Phish!

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