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Cyber Security Awareness ~ A Continued Effort!

The Department of Homeland Security has reserved October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It is a time to reflect on how we can take preventative measures to make sure that our virtual hygiene is both compliant and secure. Due to Covid-19, many people are working remotely, using web conferencing tools to speak to loved ones, and using virtual environments to learn.

It is more important than ever for us to acknowledge the importance of keeping and maintaining a secure cyber environment. We look at how we can work together to ensure that we are not victims of cybercrimes, such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. This month we are reminded that it is not only the job of cybersecurity professionals to maintain secure virtual environments, but also, it is the responsibility of all of us to educate ourselves about the types of cybercrimes that can leave us as unwilling victims. We need to take whatever measures possible to stay aware that there are threats and answers to prevent those threats from contributing to a loss.

Above we listed cyber crimes such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. We cannot mention these threats without mentioning some ways that we can prevent them:
*We must secure our hardware by creating complicated passwords that we do not share or place in an easily accessible place.*Installing up to date anti-virus protection can also be helpful when trying to keep intruders away.
*Prevent access to sensitive data and rendering that data useless through data encryption if it falls into the hands of criminals. It is a very effective way to prevent and protect against cybercrime.
*Along with data encryption, the backing up of data, and the adequate storage of data in a separate place is critical. This step can be used to protect against ransomware in which hackers gain access to valuable data after locking victims out of their systems and then requesting a ransom to give that data back to them.

We show that we value our data by taking measures to protect it. Investing in cyber insurance is one of the best ways that we can protect ourselves against loss due to cybercrime. For example, if a cyber incident costs a company $700,000, some of that cost can be transferred through the use of cyber insurance. What may have been devastating to a business can be managed and in turn, allow for a faster and more efficient recovery. Cyber insurance can allow for less downtime when a business is victimized. It can assist with legal costs, and it can cover other costs that may come up as a result of an attack. According to a news report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is 3.86 million. Most businesses would never recover from such a loss.

Another way that we can guard ourselves and stay aware and prepare for cyberattacks is to seek the advice of the specialists that make sure that we are maintaining and securing a compliant cyber environment. These individuals can come in and let us know if there are gaps that can be penetrated by predators that are waiting to attack and steal our information. They can help guard us with the best methods to create or maintain a secure virtual environment.

This National Cybersecurity Awareness Month reminds us that educating ourselves regarding the cyber world is integral to mastering cyber attacks. We cannot only practice securing our virtual environments for one month out of the year. We must make it a practice. We have to create good habits that show that we are aware, prepared, and knowledgeable when it comes to protecting the data we own.

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