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The need for this 17th year of CISA’s National CyberSecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) has never been greater. CISA is the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the US Department of Homeland Security. Each October they focus attention to help raise awareness of what each of us can do to promote safe computing.

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™

Connecting to the network should never be a casual act. The danger is far from trivial, its serious. The most prevalent threat in CyberSpace today is ransomware, a “social engineering” threat in which you are encouraged to click a link or open an attachment by an email that looks very real from a sender you know well. When you click the link on this fake email you open the door for hackers to steal your data. The next thing you receive is a ransom note.

One of the reasons this is the technique most used to invade networks is that it focuses on the most fallible, most difficult network segment to manage; the user. Human beings are far easier to exploit than digital systems, and hackers know it. Your awareness of the potential danger is your first, best artillery in the war against bad-actors.

Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

Many people think their internet service provider (ISP) is responsible for data and network security. But ask yourself who suffers most when security is compromised and data is lost. You do, or your company does. In very practical terms this means that you and your company own the greatest bottom-line responsibility. A fiduciary responsibility to your stakeholders.

More to the point, when an intruder gets past your ISPs security and accesses your highest value data assets who stands the best chance of being fired from their job?

Stop. Think. Connect. But What Should I Think About?

The main theme of NCSAM this year is, ”Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” encouraging everyone to own their role and do their part taking personal accountability for helping protect the internet and all it services. Each week in October NCSAM explores a different topic. United Training will be publishing information all month with recommendations for how you can put these themes to good use.

· Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
· Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
· Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
· Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices

United Training offers many courses on data and network practices and products. Many companies send their personnel to these courses to better assure the safety of corporate data. In these courses you’ll learn what security layers exist along the path of data travelling across your network, from the multi-factor authentication of users to network access control (NAC), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware, firewalls, encryption and more. There’s a lot to learn, but all easily accessible. If you think only the techies need to know all this, think again. Everybody needs to #BeCyberSmart!

cyber security month