Have you updated your password lately? October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and changing your password is a simple place to start. This month of awareness began as a broad effort in 2004 launched by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to educate Americans on staying safe when online. Since the initial launch, the initiative has grown and over the last few years added a monthly theme.
For 2019, the theme is Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.
Individuals, whether Managed Service Provider (MSP) employees, small business employees, or a home users with a new PC, are all responsible for maintaining a secure digital presence. Most often, if people take proactive steps, they can maintain secure passwords, avoid clicking on unknown links and avoid downloading unknown files to stay safe. MSPs can provide security coaching to customers, but also provide robust security and backup plans along with holistic business continuity strategies.
Below you will find some more information for consideration around these topics.
Own IT - in today’s digital environment, we are surrounded by smart devices that are always on and connected. Beyond just computers, we have these devices in the home and office. The first place to start is with privacy settings. Make sure they are set at a threshold that provides protection of valuable personal and business data. You have to be aware of your digital profile and Own IT.
Secure IT - at the beginning of this article, I asked “Have you updated your password lately?” Having a strong password strategy for all accounts and using unique passwords for different accounts is a great foundational start. As a next step, multi-factor or two-factor authentication helps protect users with an additional layer of security to help protect private information.
Cytracom launched Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) this month, which fits nicely into the Secure IT category. This is an important security initiative that has been top-of-mind with our MSP partners and end-users. As you know, it’s become increasingly important for MSPs to add this additional layer of security to the services they manage for their customers.
Our PBX portal now give users the option to authenticate with Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or similar apps. We believe this added layer of security will be a valuable step in making customers’ phone systems more secure.
Protect IT - ultimately, protecting yourself and your business is key to maintaining your digital profile. To avoid cybercrime, you must manage your digital trail to avoid being exploited. Every post, send, share creates a digital trail that bad actors can try to use to compromise your security.
As we see in the news, in online forums, and other places, cyber crime-hacking, ransomware, etc-is on the rise. Update your password today and take steps this month and every month to up your Cyber Security game and defend your data.