Did you know there is a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, up from 39 seconds in 2019? That’s why Cybersecurity Awareness Month is all about making security a priority. Follow these helpful tips from Stinnett and the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access or criminal use and the practice of guaranteeing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Communication, transportation, shopping, and medicine are just some of the things that rely on computers systems and the Internet now. Much of your personal information is stored either on your computer, smartphone, tablet or possibly on someone else’s system. Knowing how to protect the information that you have stored is of high importance not just for an individual but for an organization and those in it.

Companies and organizations in the United States, as well as multiple foreign governments, were harmed by theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, and other highly valuable information by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). By establishing initial access, the APT exploits user and administrator credentials, enables lateral movement within the network, and locates high value assets to exfiltrate data. To reduce risk, network defense procedures should be implemented and comply with best practices. These guidelines can facilitate managing the risk and mitigating the threat.

• By stealing compromised credentials, an attacker can obtain victim identity information
• Criminals create new email accounts and hack existing ones to conduct social engineering attacks
• Spear phishing emails are sent containing malware and malicious attachments
• Malware is used to exploit various common vulnerabilities and exposures by exploiting software vulnerabilities in applications

• Use antivirus software.  It’s an important protective measure useful against cyber criminals and malicious threats. It can automatically detect, quarantine, and remove types of malware.
• Keep software up to date. Attackers have been known to take advantage of well-known problems and vulnerabilities.
• Utilize a firewall. Firewalls can prevent some attacks by limiting malicious traffic before it can enter a computer.
• Utilize strong passwords. Creating passwords that will be difficult for cybercriminals to guess is vital. Use different passwords for different programs and devices. It is also best to use long, strong passphrases or passwords that consist of at least 15 to 16 characters.
• Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in.
• Watch for Phishing. The goal is to gain information about you and use your information to make unauthorized purchases or gain access to a secure system. Be suspicious of unexpected emails and always check email address sources to make sure the email is not coming from a fake website.