National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (2020)
Green Shield Technology presents National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
As a Managed Service Provider, Green Shield Technology celebrates the importance of National Cybersecurity Month (NCSAM). For the month of October, it is recognized by all IT professionals cybersecurity members, and security researchers. For now, in its 17th year, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) continues to raise awareness about cybersecurity for our nation.
This year’s theme is “Do Your Part, Be Cyber Smart” which we cover in this blog and how across the IT industry will also share a few cybersecurity tips and information that everyone, especially businesses should be aware of and learn to protect their data. Below we will cover a few different roles of employees who are working in different work settings. Amongst the work environments, most cybersecurity tips can be applied to all yet still signal to do your part in protecting personal and work-related data.
Working from home
Connecting your work computer to your home WiFi/internet. Log into business emails and accounts on assigned workstation only. Stay off shopping, social media, and news websites as those can be sites can be targeted with malware, click-bait, and adware viruses. As Cybersecurity Awareness month, everyone needs to understand to “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart”.
Don’t download free software. Does your work computer have an updated installed antivirus? Ok great if you do, and if you don’t well that poses security risks to both your business and home network. Downloading free software is dangerous even when you do have an antivirus installed. So, this is a big no-no here at Green Shield Technology! We educate our clients on the dangers of free software downloaded on their computer systems. It’s part of our cybersecurity awareness we present within our Managed Services. Having an installed paid antivirus running on your computer detects, and scans downloads for viruses that can infect a system. However, user controls also partake on whether or not you can download software. Most IT departments control this aspect, regardless, stay away from downloading entertainment and free tool shortcuts.
Locking & powering off devices when not in use. Whether you leave your computer and any other work devices for a bathroom break, lunch or personal matter, make sure you do lock them. It’s as simple as locking your smartphone. Consider locking and powering off devices for keeping business data safe for cybersecurity awareness.
Using a secure video conferencing platform. While at the start of the global pandemic, Zoom has grown in popularity out of the B2B space, and now everyone uses Zoom for video chatting and conferences. Throughout the past few months, Zoom became a big IT security threat for business meetings and school learning due to their lack of security. We raise cybersecurity awareness for businesses and suggest they use reliable secured video conferencing platforms in this blog, Top Video Conferencing for Business (5 Alternatives to Zoom).
Using VPNs. If your business is combining into a hybrid environment due to COVID-19, using VPNs enhances your IT infrastructures security. Accommodating to your employees and the workplace during the pandemic forced businesses to restructure for the best approach to work-life balance. As we all had to stay at home for a certain amount of time, businesses needed to swiftly transition their IT infrastructures to meet those new demands. By using a VPN in a hybrid work environment you control access to your servers to those working from home, without opening access to the entire internet.
Maintaining employee productivity loss with productivity tools. As an employer you probably have thought to check-in on how your employees are working at their desk, but how about now as some are working at home? Utilizing productivity tools can assist you in tracking work progress.
Traveling & Hotels
Accessing to Public (Free) Internet and connecting your devices calls for cybersecurity awareness. Think, if you connect it, protect it. Whether it’s your laptop, smartphone, gaming, or entertainment devices, its best to have all of them updated with the latest security patches. Protecting them against viruses and malware attacks with antivirus, malware protection and other security tools, and make sure they are all up to date. Before connecting to any public wireless hotspots in hotels, airports, or nearby cafe, be sure to confirm the network name and exact login procedures with the appropriate staff. When using public internet stay away from accessing banking accounts and making any purchases.
Stop from Auto Connecting to Available WiFi or Bluetooth devices. During your travels, disable your computer and mobile phone from automatically connecting to local networks that are readily available. As a best security practice when traveling this will protect from certain types of attacks like man in the middle attacks.
Signing out of Accounts. Guard your mobile devices to prevent theft and unauthorized access or loss of sensitive information. As this applies to all devices, never leave your equipment unattended in a public space. Keep your devices secured when at airports, hotels, and public transportations. Our personal information is valuable to any hacker, thus we need to raise awareness, and our smartphones need extra protection beyond the locked screen. Also make sure you have some type of authentication enabled to unlock your phone.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication on all apps. The best cybersecurity practice for everyone to utilize is enabling two-factor authentication to all apps that have the capability. Sure your mobile smartphone is your personal cell phone that goes everywhere with you, but you never know when you’ll wind up losing it. That’s when you will freak out about loosing it, but you should also realize what you are losing is more than just an expensive device. Anyone can steal your login credentials to your social media accounts and bank information if they have complete access to your cell. Why? Well, mostly every American is active online and stay logged in, hence someone can change your passwords, or get detailed personal information instantly that would allow them to use social engineering techniques to gain further access to your personal life. Therefore it’s best to set up multi-factor authentication everywhere possible. Read our Multi-factor Authentication blog where we go over the most common apps and software that have layers of security to log in.
More about Green Shield Technology
We are an MSP in Southern California partnering with small businesses in food, construction, financial and medical industries turn fully digital and secure their IT network and systems. All at a customized IT support level for each, since no companies technological needs are ever the same. We are a trusted one-stop-shop for tech consultants and support professionals for any small business in the Inland Empire. Building our relationship as your one vendor to all technology advancements you may need for your business stability, growth, and security.
If you would like more information on topics surrounding cybersecurity and IT, then view our Tech News & Resources page. You’ll find our monthly cyber attacks blog along with other IT topics for individuals, tech professionals, and businesses to learn more about all things Technology.