Cyber Security is Knowledge

nscam-logoPresident Obama proclaimed October to be National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). is proud to join the collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors in helping to promote public awareness of the importance of cyber security.

Becoming Cyber Aware At Home

Becoming cyber secure on a personal level requires constant vigilance. It’s about understanding just a little about how common hackers can see and take your stuff. It requires a little knowledge and lots of effort.

Unsuspecting email recipients can fall prey to phishing emails where an email recipient is asked to click on a seemingly legitimate link.  The email may be from a customer service department, checking on your latest order. Or, maybe a credit card company or bank, asking you to click on a link to see important information about your account. Even google mail might contact you, asking you to click on a link that will help you add more layers to your password protection. So what’s the problem? Well, these emails didn’t come from customer service, your bank or credit card company, or google mail!

This kind of cyber attack is common and isn’t all that sophisticated. Millions of phishing emails are sent out each day by thieves who want your stuff.  Stuff like login IDs, passwords, account information, and so much more. They want your identity! And, it only requires the changing of one character in what, otherwise, would be a valid link. This is called “poisoning”.  A missing character or symbol, an added character, even a blank space are all small bits of poison that can change the authenticity of a link.

A Little Effort Can Go A Long Way

There is no room for laziness or doubt when it comes to emails you receive. A “friend’s” email that seems a bit off is off for a reason; your friend’s email account was hacked! Trash the email immediately and then trash the trash! Vigilance in opening emails from online service providers is crucial. Make sure the sender’s email address is legitimate. Make sure authenticating images and text are in the email. If not, don’t assume! Go to the service provider’s website directly or call. Finally, never give your password out to anyone, whether by email or over the phone. No legitimate service provider will ever ask you for it.

This all may sound elementary, but the number of phishing emails that hit their mark each day is staggering. It takes just a little awareness and effort to save yourself from a lot of stress later on. Be smart! Don’t be a statistic!

Cyber Security in Your Business

A good first step is to make sure everyone uses the same care and vigilance in opening up emails at work. Implement a policy that addresses what emails can and can’t be opened. The last thing you want is for a team member to click on a poisoned link that then gives a really bad person access to your entire company network. That can spell disaster, especially if sensitive customer information falls into the wrong hands, as found out by Target, Home Depot, and other huge retailers.

Companies serious about protecting their stuff need to take cyber security to the next level, above and beyond having an email security protocol in place. It takes a smarter hacker to get past first line defenses and next-generation cyber security needs to be able to detect and STOP these threats in real-time. Too often, we hear about private and public sector victims of cyber crime months and sometimes years after an attack, when it’s too late.

PackSled is one software application that can help you stop threats in their tracks. With real-time monitoring of advanced threats, PacketSled detects policy violations and other anomalies as they happen. It then analyses the data and remediates a threat in record time. There’s a lot to say about the benefits of using PackSled, so please CLICK HERE to find out more.