National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Empower Organizations In Cybersecurity Protocols

Do. Your. Part. #BeCyberSmart

What’s scarier than a haunted house and more expensive than a giant Halloween party? Cyberattacks – and they devastate individuals and businesses alike. Fortunately, attacks can be prevented if we all remain vigilant and educated. This month marks the 18th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and this year Zuma Technology brings you tips, best practices, and more to ensure you’re ready to “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

“While technology — a luxury that became essential — continues to improve the quality of lives and economies around the world, some individuals will naturally try to navigate around it or simply bypass it altogether, placing themselves and their organization at risk,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “Now that mobile and remote workforces rely upon extended distributed networks that include everything from corporate offices to homes, global cybersecurity awareness initiatives are key to educating the masses on the importance of doing their part to protect everything from personal devices, home networks, critical data and infrastructure.”

The theme for 2021 continues to be, “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart,” encouraging individuals and companies to be responsible in practicing cybersecurity protocols. Being more secure online is a shared responsibility, but by taking proactive steps toward lasting, positive cybersecurity behaviors at work and at home, each of us can help create a safer cyber environment.

Cybersecurity Protocols

Here are some steps each of us can take today and do not require high level security experts:

  • LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN – Use long, unique passphrases that are hard to break but easy to remember for each account, and utilize two-factor or multifactor authentication wherever possible
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT – Email, social media posts, texts and more aren’t always what they seem — sometimes they harbor malware or malicious links. If you’re unsure about it, delete
  • KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE – Keep all software current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware
  • BACK IT UP – Create backups of valuable data. In the case of ransomware or other threats, they can help prevent permanent loss
  • OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE – Set up privacy and security settings immediately and check them regularly to ensure they’re still configured to your comfort
  • SHARE WITH CARE – Think about the potential consequences before posting personal info about yourself or others
  • GET SAVVY ABOUT PUBLIC WI-FI HOTSPOTS – These are not secure, meaning anyone could see what you’re doing while you’re connected to them. Consider a VPN or mobile hotspot for greater security.
  • UNINSTALL UNUSED SOFTWARE – When purchasing a workstation for yourself or business, there are times ‘junkware’ comes pre-installed. ‘Junkware’ are applications that manufacturers partner with who install additional software that most likely isn’t required. These applications take up space on the hard drive and can be vulnerable to exploits. When in doubt, delete the application.

“In the physical world, we all know a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” said Chad Sweet, founder and CEO, The Chertoff Group. The same is true in cyber. None of us want to be that weak link — failing to protect ourselves, our families or our businesses can be catastrophic.

As key players like NCSA, DHS and SonicWall have rightly challenged us to do, we need to use National Cybersecurity Awareness Month as a call to action for all of us to recommit to strengthening the links where we play a critical role at home, in the office and in our communities.

Andrew Lopez
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