Here we are, 31 October, and ready to bang on doors and ask for candy with the playful question of ‘Trick or Treat?’ How fitting to sum up a month of thought-provoking posts regarding National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM) whereby our ‘interconnectedness’ requires each of us to be more vigilant than ever. Every time we knock on one of the Internet’s doors, what we receive in return may not be what we’re expecting. Goblins and other nefarious creatures continue to lurk in dark spaces as well as the bright light of day.
I love the Internet and all the great social and professional tools available in my life, to do my job, and keep in touch with friends and family around the world. But, we need to be careful since each email or web link represents a potential threat in the cyber world. Forget the ghosts and goblins of Halloween, cyber security threats are scary. Cyber-threats now have the potential to disrupt communications, cause widespread power outages, and compromise sensitive government intelligence – in a blink of an eye.
And, with the proliferation of mobile devices we need to be extra careful to ensure security. A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found “18 of 24 major federal agencies have reported inadequate information security controls,” and in a September 2012 report on mobile security, recommends better implementation of controls for mobile devices need to be encouraged since malware aimed at mobile devices alone has risen 185 percent in less than a year.
The good news is that there are steps we can also take to address these risks including best practices. Click to learn more.
We are currently in Cybersecurity month here in the United States, which is to say that our country is trying to raise our awareness in regard to our virtual protection.
So, Cyber Security? What is security for cyberspace…? It’s difficult at times to think of an imaginary border that protects networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Unauthorized access… so hacking? Yes, but more devious with results that could even lead to injury or death of our population.
Imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, one of our major cyber systems were “hacked”… What does that mean for us? Think. Just about our whole existence revolves around cyberspace. That’s right, systems operate virtually to be able to manage simple things like pay roll all the way to complex things like flight plans, take-off and landing. Cyberspace is where your Facebook lives, Twitter, personal email accounts, and all of your personal finance information. Has your account ever been hacked by a friend posting a funny blurb on your account? Or has your identity been stolen by a hacker? With technology becoming an extension of ourselves, it’s just important to protect ourselves. Let’s not create an episode of J.J. Abrams “Revolution” if we can avoid it…
What can we do about it? That’s the point of this month is for “us”… yes, us plain ole citizens, to be more proactive in protecting ourselves, our communities, and ultimately our country.
This is what the Department of Homeland Security says about how we can start protecting ourselves:
“Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their personal assets, and private information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can do to practice cyber security during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and throughout the year:
- Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Here is a glance at Cisco’s part in cybersecurity.
Check out this blog by Chris Coleman titled “The Virtual Maginot Line” and also be looking for blogs by other members of Cisco that are revolving around Cybersecurity month.
This is very simple. We have roughly 2 weeks left in this month. Let’s all do our part.