October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Do your part, #BeCyberSmart

The NCSA, CISA and Williams College invite you to participate in Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 this October as we encourage all users to own their role in protecting connected devices. Do your part. #BeCyberSmart this October.

More: https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/

If you connect it, protect it.

The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. This network of connections creates both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations across the globe. The first week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the ways in which internet-connected devices have impacted our lives and will empower all users to own their role in security by taking steps to reduce risks.

Facts and Figures:

  • Gartner forecasts that 25 billion connected things will be in use by 2021.
  • 63% of people find connected devices ‘creepy’ in the way that they collect data about people and their behaviors
  • Once plugged into the internet, connected devices are attacked within 5 minutes and targeted by specific exploits within 24 hours.

What you can do:

Change all default passwords that come with a device to a unique value (critically important for home wireless routers, gaming systems and other IoT devices like security cameras, thermostats and printers).

Upgrade to two-factor or multi-factor authentication wherever possible. Using only a password is no longer considered secure. The different factors of authentication can be thought of as:

  •             Something you know (passwords and passphrases)
  •             Something you have (one-time password, sms or authenticator app codes that expire)
  •             Something you are (fingerprints, face scans and other biometrics)

Any two will be enough to secure most accounts.

Update regularly – software developers routinely patch flaws and vulnerabilities in their software to make it more stable and secure. Be sure of the source, but keep your devices updated.

Resist links from unknown sources and review links before following – Any device can be infected with malware if you click a dangerous phishing link!

Backup devices often – Ransomware is a growing threat, and paying ransom funds the next round of attacks. Instead, don’t pay, and restore ransomed data from backup.

Store important data about the device offline (make, model, date of purchase, serial number, MAC address) in case of loss or theft.

And of course, watch out for Human Error! See the OIT Help Guides for lots of useful information on the above items and more. Stay safe and #BeCyberSmart!