Cyber SecuritySince 2004, October has been observed as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and was created in a collaborative manner between the U.S. government and industry in the hopes of increasing awareness regarding cyber security in general. Do you know how to protect your cyber security, and why it’s important for everyone?

President Obama has stated that cyber security is a shared responsibility rather than one that can be handled by large organizations alone. Every individual must take ownership of the choices they make while online and much can be improved through education and awareness of the risks and means to protect oneself. Although the overall theme of NCSAM is Our Shared Responsibility, multiple sub-themes highlight specific aspects of information which can help protect the public and our internet in general.

Highlighted Themes During 2016 Cyber Security Month

• Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security. Taking a moment to pause and think before connecting to the internet can make a huge difference in security measures. Maintaining a strong password and utilizing two-part verification on all important accounts are excellent steps to integrate into one’s daily internet practice. This theme also encourages teaching children how to safely use the internet and covers the outlook for cyber security jobs of today and tomorrow.

• Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace. Internet usage has become commonplace in workplaces of all sizes.  Employees must be taught a set of best practices to reduce the risk of introducing malware, ransomware or a virus to their company’s network which could compromise sensitive data within the organization.

• Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime. Cybercrime is no longer limited to hackers who wish to steal personal information; issues including revenge porn, cyberbullying, sexual exploitation and more have become more prevalent over the internet. This theme hopes to expand awareness of the different types of cybercrimes and how individuals can work in conjunction with law enforcement to protect themselves.

• Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your “Aptitude”? Online software applications are now available for virtually every aspect of our lives and are essential for the smooth operation of industries ranging from health care organizations to governmental bodies. Our world is expected to only increase in interconnectedness and this theme focuses on maintaining safety, security and privacy during this rapidly expanding time.

• Building Resilience in Critical Systems. As a nation, the critical infrastructure supporting our electrical grid, transportation and communication systems and more is impacted by internet security. The public plays an important role in keeping this network secure and best safety practices will be highlighted within this theme during NCSAM.

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Keep Your Network Secure

Keeping your organization’s network secure can be a challenge considering the speed at which new forms of malware, ransomware or viruses can appear. Numerous free tools are available to check the security aspects within your computer, yet many companies have determined that outsourcing aspects of their IT setup, including network security, is an economical solution that allows even small businesses the ability to harness expertise in the field which is not feasibly obtained in-house. Great Lakes Computer is available to meet all of your IT needs and can maintain a high level of cyber security for the sensitive information in your care.