This October is once again National Cyber Security Awareness month and also the sixth anniversary of “Stop. Think. Connect.” the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. While targeted at the general public, the campaign is of equal—if not greater—relevance to IT and InfoSec pros.
Perhaps the theme would resonate more if it were “Better Together.” Or, “You're only as strong as the weakest link.” Because when it comes to cyber security in today’s 24 x 7 digital world, everything and everybody are either connected already or headed in that direction. The lines between work, home, and play are blurring, and security has become everybody’s concern.
Trends like the consumerization of IT—bring your own device/technology (BYOD/T) and bring your own applications (BYOA/Shadow IT) to the workplace—as well as mobility and working from remote and/or home offices highlight this growing phenomenon. One result of this blurring is that online habits at home and at work are likely to be similar, which can put corporate data at greater risk if security is not a priority. Even when corporate cyber security policies and procedures are developed to reduce or eliminate such risks, educating employees and enforcing these measures can be problematic.
In a recent study, security software firm Symantec discovered more than 430 million new, unique pieces of malware in 2015—a 36% increase from 2014. Plus, they found that the number of zero-day vulnerabilities had more than doubled year over year, to 54—which averages out to more than one new zero-day vulnerability per week. Far from being reined in, security threats are only continuing to grow.
Fortunately, over half of Americans (61%) believe that they need to take greater control of online safety and security. Most (90%) said they want to learn more about keeping safer on the Internet.
Your organization can take advantage of this opportunity with these three steps:
- Make security everyone’s job.
- Involve stakeholders across your organization to set security policies.
- Set an example at the executive level: no exceptions, no special privileges.
Stop. Think. Connect.
STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety or your family’s.
CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
Even the most secure networks can be compromised, but the experts at Connection believe you can absolutely take measures to protect your organization and minimize risk. Taking a neutral stance on security, an organization is most certainly going to run into difficulties down the road. Stop. Think. Connect. And Protect!
As a Champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2016, Connection is committed to promoting cyber security and online safety. Our in-house team of security experts is dedicated to helping organizations of every size reduce their risk with industry-leading security solutions and services. Connection’s Security Practice can help create comprehensive security programs that leverage the latest technologies from our partners, including: Cisco, Core Security, Dell, Intel Security, Security Innovation, Sophos, Symantec, Trend Micro, and VMware.
Our team is proud to support the goals of NCSAM:
- Promote online safety
- Ensure everyone has the resources to stay safer and more secure online
- Engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising cyber security awareness