Since 2003, October has been designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. With incidents like WannaCry ransomware attacks and the Equifax breach that compromised the personal information of roughly half the country’s population, cybersecurity is a great concern today. The FBI has reported that Internet crime led to losses in excess of $1.3 billion in 2016. According to National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the top threats businesses face include ransomware attacks, Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities and insider attacks. While transferring data via the internet when using solutions like data conversion outsourcing or others, businesses should have a clear idea about the cyber security measures provided by the vendor.
The overall theme for this NCSAM is “Our Shared Responsibility”. The goal of NCSAM is to increase awareness about the cyber security landscape and bring attention to different measures people can take to keep their information protected.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has published general tips to help you increase your cybersecurity awareness-including whom to contact if you are the victim of cyber crime-and protect your online activities.
- The first week with its theme “Simple Steps to Online Safety,” highlights the top cybersecurity concerns for consumers, providing simple steps to protect against these concerns and explains how consumers can respond if they fall victim to a cybercrime.
- The second week focuses on showcasing how businesses can protect themselves, their employees and customers against common cybersecurity threats.
- The third week of this month explains how to use cutting-edge technology in safe and secure ways to protect personal data.
- The fourth week focuses on a career in cybersecurity. This week’s events encourage students and professionals to explore cybersecurity as a viable and rewarding profession.
- The last week of this month will focus on protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats. The theme of this week changes into Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month in November, highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and the country’s critical infrastructure.
Few Preventative Steps to Avoid a Cyber Attack
Business firms can follow the following tips to avoid being the next victim of cyber attacks.
- Stronger authentication with extra layer of security beyond the password helps verify that a user has authorized access to an online account.
- On-time updates of security software will prevent cybercriminals from being able to take advantage of known vulnerabilities.
- Make sure to set long and strong passwords and never share them with anyone. Combine upper and lower case letters and avoid using common words.
- Provide training sessions to teach your employees how to recognize and prevent phishing schemes.
- Consider installing a good antivirus program that features essential protection against ransomware.
- Make sure to log in to sensitive documents only using a secured network. Don’t use a Wi-Fi network to access critical files.
- Delete any suspicious e-mails, as there are chances that your account can be spoofed or hacked.
It is also critical to ensure that the cyber security is efficient, if organizations are utilizing outsourced data entry services. Combining advanced technology, standard security measures and regular employee training helps to prevent cyber attacks and data breaches to a great extent.