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Posts Tagged ‘National Cyber Security Awareness Month’

Would you be prepared for a Cyber Attack?  

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Cyber Security on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

While we usually cover safety issues relative to incidents such as falls, earthquakes, or fire, the damages of failing to observe cyber-security safety protocols—which although not life threatening— can be equally devastating. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is observed in October, and is designed to raise awareness about the risks of electronic data and information breaches that can happen to individuals, companies and organizations.

Last week, the focus of National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 was on the “smart world,” meaning all of the internet-connected devices that exist — from phones to thermostats. This week looks at building the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, with an emphasis on promoting education and awareness to spark interest in the field. Education is essential for companies that want to protect their critical data from hackings and/or breaches.

Tips for Business Owners

Up to 95% of breaches are caused by human error. So, it is vitally important to train employees, first by giving them context, so they understand the consequences of data breaches and hacking incidents. Then, employers can guide them about best practices such as protecting passwords, carefully guarding data relative to outside agents, avoiding phishing scams, and adhering to data storage policies. Empower employees to alert management when something seems suspicious or odd such as when someone from graphic design requests company financial data for something other than an infographic. Also, make sure staff members are careful not to post sticky notes with passwords on their monitors.

Additional best practices include:

  • Set automatic updates. Instruct IT to program automatic operating system and software updates, so the latest virus definitions and security protocols are always in place. Asking staff to perform these tasks manually opens you up to risks.
  • Establish login tracking. Login monitoring should be in place to spot external access attempts and identify employees who are accessing sensitive information or data outside their purview.
  • Set a security “fence” around sensitive data. A company’s most important data (for example, personal customer information) should be protected behind a company firewall at all times. Restrict access to this data to a select few staff members. Also, make sure it is protected from potential download to personal devices or hard drives.

Tips for individuals to protect data and avoid cybersecurity issues:

  • Follow password procedures. Using “12345” or “password” for computer passwords is not recommended. Staff members should be trained about methods for selecting strong passwords and protecting sensitive documents.
  • Avoid storing data locally. News stories often recount employees losing laptops or thumb drives, with the device contents being used for illegal purposes. Discourage individuals from storing sensitive data directly on their devices. For greater security, instruct them, instead, to access data online.
  • Protect mobile devices. Employers increasingly allow employees to use their own devices to check email and access work data. Before approving this practice, instruct employees about methods for wiping their devices if they are lost or stolen. For maximum protection, establish and follow written “bring-your-own-device” procedures.
  • Don’t download unapproved software. Malware and other nasty computer bugs often reside in seemingly innocuous software. Beware of employees downloading free PDF-maker tools from the web. This software could be a launching pad for an attack. Staff should only download IT-approved software or apps to either their computer or mobile devices.
  • Don’t click on unknown links. Many businesses are targeted with official looking emails that provide an “important link.” Clicking on the link could infect the user’s computer, which can then travel throughout the employer’s network. Encourage employees to run suspicious emails by the IT department for a thorough review and safe deletions.

Remember that safety is a daily priority, so be sure to think about disaster planning all of the time. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about our system, or to subscribe, click here.

Cyber Security Awareness

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Take time to protect your cyber security.

Take time to protect your cyber security.

October marked National Cyber Security Awareness Month. So why are we bringing it up in November? Because cyber security’s importance means it’s a topic that deserves your attention all year.

In our digitally-connected times, cyber security efforts are important for all businesses and individuals. Action or inaction in dealing with security measures can impact an exponential number of other entities. Similar to stopping the spread of infectious diseases, good practices by everyone can help contain cyber threats and collectively save money.

A recent study sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) reports that small businesses’ “cyber security policies and actions are not adequate enough to ensure the safety of their employees, intellectual property and customer data.”

The study also says, “Only 28 percent of U.S. small businesses have formal Internet security policies and just 35 percent provide ANY training to employees about Internet safety and security.”

The Department of Homeland Security offers some recommended tips for cyber security:

  • Make sure that you have anti-virus software and firewalls installed, properly configured, and up-to-date. New threats are discovered every day. And keeping your software updated is one of the easier ways you can protect yourself from an attack. Set your computer to automatically update for you.
  • Update your operating system and critical program software. Software updates offer the latest protection against malicious activities. Turn on automatic updating if that feature is available.
  • Back up key files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc and store it in a safe place.

Share this downloadable PDF from www.staysafeonline.info that explains what businesses can do to operate safely.

Allied Universal Inc. encourages property managers and owners to think about cyber security. Check back with us for frequent updates about cyber security and other safety issues. We hope these tips will help you to BE SAFE.