Fuse Networks Blog

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Best Practices For You

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness month and this year’s theme is “Our Shared Responsibility”. In today’s always on and connected world, cybersecurity is something we all need to be aware of and take steps to ensure the Internet remains as safe as possible. Recognizing this is an ongoing issue, the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month event (NCSAM) will focus on increasing cybersecurity awareness among consumers, students, educators/academia, and businesses.

For the entire month of October, businesses, educational outlets and individuals are encouraged to think more about what they can do to increase cybersecurity, including promoting cybersecurity as a viable career choice.

For the month of October NCSAM will feature a new theme each week:

  • Week 1: Oct. 1­–5: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
  • Week 2: Oct. 8–12: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
  • Week 3: Oct. 15–19: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
  • Week 4: Oct. 22–26: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

Week 1

The first week focuses on providing the entire family with the basic tools and techniques to protect themselves and their homes against cyberattacks. By emphasizing the fundamentals of cybersecurity in week one, the NCSAM prepares the attendees for greater understanding regarding the home/work dynamic and why it’s important to practice cyber security in both environments. Further, by involving caregivers in the process, they are better equipped to help their students understand the importance of staying safe and secure online.

Week 2

With the cost of education constantly rising, parents are more concerned than ever about what the future holds for their students. Top of mind is what type of jobs will be available for them. As students make their way through high school, higher education and beyond, their paths aren’t always clear. What is apparent however is that students need to think about preparing for the jobs of tomorrow and not those from yesterday. As technology becomes more integrated into all aspects of our society, so do the opportunities to find meaningful careers in cybersecurity.

NCSAM will discuss methods to educate, train and motivate parents, teachers, and counselors to learn more about the field of cybersecurity. This will allow them to better be prepared to inspire students to recognize the value of investing in highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.

Week 3

The weakest link when it comes to developing an effective security policy is usually your team members. No, not out of malicious intent, but simply human error; usually due to a lack of training. This shortcoming can create unsafe behaviors such as clicking on a suspicious link, or using the same password for personal and private accounts,an action which can leave both accounts compromised.

This is why it is critical that team members understand online security and safety is a shared responsibility and not just something IT deals with. However, the IT department also needs to invest the resources to explain to the team why certain practices need to be followed as opposed to just telling them to just do what they’re told. If your team is invested in keeping the business secure, they will make better partners. Further by linking this theme to the previous week’s on understanding how to keep their home network secure, NCSAM is ensuring they will be receptive to maintaining the office network’s security too.

Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training, and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance, and resilience. NCSAM’s CyberSecure My Business™ will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.

Many of us are unaware of how connected we are to each other and the nation in general. With so many devices connecting to the internet, the ability for a bad actor to attack our infrastructure using residential hacks is a real possibility. With malware such as the VPNFilter, we can see how neglected hardware and out of date software can be used as a vector to attack the system. A disruption to this system, which is operated via the internet, can have significant and even catastrophic consequences for our nation.

To address this, Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. Also, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The four individual workshops which make up this year’s theme, reinforce the idea that the lines between personal and professional online use are becoming more blurred and are, in some cases, indistinguishable from one another. Further, this connectivity is both the strength and weakness of our infrastructure, linking all of us as we rise and fall in tandem. In other words, the Internet isn’t just the purview of one entity, but is a shared resource whose security is a responsibility we all must do our part to ensure remains safe.

Finally as an IT service provider, we always strive to stress the importance of IT security - not just to our clients, but to our community as well. We understand that individual actions online can have a cascade effect on how we collectively use the Internet and the strongest defense against attack is when we all use best practices at home and in the office.

If you have learned something new or interesting, please take a moment to share this blog with someone and help us make everyone more #CyberAware. If you have any questions about your security, call the IT professionals at 855-GET-FUSE (438-3873) or complete our contact form.

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