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Cybersecurity Month Serves as Reminder to Take Proactive Steps

Cyber attack preventative measureWhether you are the CEO of a big corporation working in the office six days a week or an analyst working remotely from home entering data, everyone is at risk of a cyber-attack. Despite the fact that all organizations, regardless of size, are at risk, few have preventative measures in place, or have even planned for how they would respond in the event of an attack. 

cyberattack is any type of offensive maneuver employed by individuals or whole organizations that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, and/or personal computer devices by various means of malicious acts usually originating from an anonymous source that either steals, alters, or destroys a specified target by hacking into a susceptible system. 

Since 2004, October has been declared as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in an effort to educate and help individuals protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more commonplace. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic had forced more employees than ever before to work remotely and as a result, an uptick in spoofing and other hacking attempts has continued to be a very real threat. See the following video on ways to minimize risk and avoid disaster as more employees work remotely: https://youtu.be/dc3gh6ZcAA8.

In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, below are a few practical tips suggested by The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to potentially avoid disaster: 

  • Think Before You Click: Learn to Recognize and Report Phishing Emails 
    • Hackers are getting really good at crafting phishing emails that look legitimate. If you get an email asking you to send information or inviting you to click a link, wait! Take some extra time to look the message over before doing anything else. 
    • Look at the address the email came from as this is usually a dead giveaway. Does it match the organization the person claims to be from or is it something completely random like a sequence of numbers and letters?
    • If it claims to be from a coworker, reach out to them first and ask if it was actually them that sent it. If something feels off, when in doubt, ask your IT team if the email is a phishing attempt.
  • Keep Your Systems and Your Software Updated
    • The older your system and its configurations are, the longer the hackers have to find and exploit all its weaknesses. Updating them will prevent attackers from exploiting them for enough time until new updates arrive. Talk to your IT team about updates.
  • Use Strong and Varied Passwords
    • Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated.
    • Do not use the same password for every account! While easier to remember, all a hacker has to do is get ahold of your password once and they have immediate access to all your information. 
    • Make use of password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A passwords manager encrypts passwords securing them for you. Some of the most commonly used password managers include LastPass, 1Password and Roboform.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 
    • You should use more than one username and password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA allows you to add extra security layers to the standard method of using passwords for online verification, making you significantly less likely to get hacked.
    • With this method, you are required to enter more than two credentials while logging in, keeping your account more secure by making it more difficult for hackers to access your data.

For more tips, go to CISA.Gov. Talk to your IT team about other ways on how you can remain secure and your systems updated. If you are having a cybersecurity emergency such as a data breach, Foster Swift has a 24/7 hotline that will connect you with a cybersecurity attorney. Please call 517-FS1-TASK (517-371-8275) to learn what to do next. Our team of attorneys have the experience to assist your company with cyberattacks, data breaches and an expanding array of other threats.

Categories: Criminal, Cybersecurity, Technology

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Taylor helps businesses and business owners solve and prevent problems as a member of Foster Swift's Business and Tax practice group. He handles business formation and transactions, tax controversies, employee benefits, and technology related issues.

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