Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, offering reminders about best practices in both working and personal technology environments. In today’s world, one of the most sought-after resources is data. The amount of information compiled leads to a great responsibility to protect such information. This is where the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) can be a vital resource, offering further insight for consumers and businesses alike.

Most of us all feel protected through a literal wall of cybersecurity systems built into our day-to-day operating systems, however, the threat of cyberattacks continues to be present. The world has become connected with a simply click of a button. That same simple click that allows endless navigation for answers and information can create vulnerabilities in operating systems that wreak havoc.

Unfortunately, we will have to continue to maneuver around the impact of the human element piece. The campaign theme for CISA in 2022 is “See Yourself in Cyber”, which ultimately focuses on “people”. The goal of this campaign is to provide resources and knowledge to all individuals in and around technology and cyber space. 

Cybersecurity - Data Breaches

Digging more into the numbers, Verizon completed its annual Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), which concluded that 82% of breaches involve human element, including social attacks, errors and misuse. This same technical reported also made note that Ransomware breaches are up 13%, which is more than in the last five years combined. Tying those stats into the fact that a typical business will have all kinds of data, some of it more valuable and sensitive than others.

That said, all data has value to someone, somewhere. Your business data may include customer account records, client transactions, financial information, contact and address information. It can also include proprietary and sensitive business information such as financial records, marketing plans, product designs, and state, local and federal tax information. Needless to say, all of this information needs to be protected to the highest degree.

The graph below from Statista represents industries most targeted by Phishing attached per the most recent data available of Q1 – 2022, which can serve as a friendly reminder that just about everything we touch will have some element of potential risk associated with it.

Safeguarding Your Success

Security experts make note that data is most at risk when it’s on the move. You are a steward of personal information each time you transmit information from your computer or mobile device. If you are handling personal or sensitive information as part of your job responsibilities, remember that vulnerabilities reside both at home and at work. Referencing some helpful reminders from the CISA from the bullet points below offer a great refresher on areas where you can help your organization stay protected:

Think Before You Click, Recognize and Report Phishing:

  • If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.

Update Your Software:

  • Don’t delay — If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.

Use Strong Passwords: 

  • Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A passwords manager will encrypt passwords securing them for you.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: 

  • You need more than a password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.

For more information on how to further Safeguard Your Success or questions about cybersecurity, please contact the team of professionals at Sentinel today.

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About The Author

As Director of Risk Engineering, Dana’s professional passion puts Sentinel clients on the path to workplace safety, compliance, and optimal profitability.

Dana is widely known and well respected in the loss control arena. He provides workplace and occupational safety guidance and training and assures compliance standards are met for businesses with a diverse set of operational risk portfolios.

Dana is heavily involved with Carolina’s American General Contractors and American Traffic Safety Services Association where he is a committee member in both organizations in efforts to advance safety and health for Sentinel clients and the construction industry abroad.