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News and resources on the latest trends in IT training and professional development

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If you connect it, protect it. The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. This network of connections creates both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations across the globe. Internet-connected devices have impacted our lives and empower all users to own their role in security by taking steps to reduce their risks.  

Multiple Connections Increase Risk 

To truly be CyberSmart you must start thinking more deeply about risk, because that’s what all cybersecurity is meant to protect against.  

It’s easy to immediately think about the web. Everything and everyone tells you about those dangers. People are lurking online trying to steal your identity, your personal information, your data, and more. There are plenty of products out there to help protect you, from firewalls to anti-malware to multi-factor authentication and more. 

But, these days your biggest risk travels with you wherever you go… 

It’s your mobile phone.  

For you as a consumer this is an open door to stealing information about you- banking passwords and account numbers, home address, phone, and more. For companies it's an entryway into their entire network that could negate all the measures they take to protect it.  

Each Connection Opens a Door to Security Endpoints 

Whether it's your mobile phone, your tablet, your laptop, even your desktop computer or game console- each device is connected at some point at the very end of a network. It’s a doorway. It needs to be locked. Double locked. When you consider any of your endpoints the first thing you need to ask yourself is “how well do I have this locked and protected?”  

A Single Connection Starts a Chain   

A firewall is an excellent device for enforcing your security policy. But a firewall is just one brick in the wall of safety. The chain starts with the user. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Phishing Scams: The user requires training to keep them vigilant and able to spot suspicious emails, texts, and other communications that might trick them into clicking on a sneaky link. 

  • Secure Passwords: The user must also be educated on the importance of secure passwords.  More than 80% of passwords in use are “123456”, “password”, “abcdef”, a pet’s name, or a spouse’s name. More often a pet’s name. 

  • Multi-Factor Authentication: More and more networks are providing multi-factor authentication. This may consist of a four- or six-digit code sent to your mobile phone or given to you when you call the right number from your phone. You enter that code following your password. This combines something you have, your mobile phone, with something you know, your password. 

  • Advanced Protection: Properly equipped your device can provide another layer of protection by collecting your fingerprint or a look at your face. Now you’ve added something you are, to something you have and something you know. Don’t you feel safer already? 

Encryption Blocks the Final Endpoint 

Your connection then travels through Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), anti-malware, and more until it reaches your firewall. If it can get through all that it can get to the systems that store your data. Here’s where you need your last line of defense. Encryption. 

People think of encryption as scrambling your data before sending it elsewhere, and then unscrambling it with a pre-determined key. They’ve missed half the trick. 

Data must also be encrypted when its sitting “at rest” in storage. Why? Because attackers could penetrate that storage and obtain your data there. They don’t have to wait for it to be put into motion. 

The cybersecurity chain is long, and you must take steps at every link. If you connect it, protect it. Not just the endpoints, but every point. What role do you play in the chain reaction? Awareness is the first step to keep safe from cybersecurity threats. Click below to find training for every level to keep your team CyberSmart.