October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Here's Why it Matters
This October is the 15th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Despite the fact that the first six months of 2017 saw an astounding 918 data breaches that compromised almost 2 billion data records, most companies and corporations are reluctant to invest in important cybersecurity measures.
Protecting your confidential financial and private documents and data is necessary if you want to avoid potentially serious consequences down the road. For businesses and organizations, protecting your computer systems is also an ethical and professional obligation, especially if you control confidential customer or client data.
Reducing the risk of cyberattacks should be a major priority of all individuals and businesses. Some experts estimate that cybercrime will collectively cost us upwards of 6 trillion dollars annually by the year 2021. What do you need to know to keep your company protected and secure?
Maersk Shipping Cyber Attack
A.P. Møller-Maersk is one of the largest shipping companies in the world -- and in June 2017, they were the victim of one of the world’s most serious cyber attacks. Given that Maersk manages 18% of the global shipping container trade, the cyberattack also had major ramifications for the global economy.
While Maersk was able to withstand the attack through temporarily reverting to manual systems, the company itself recognizes that as reliance on digital systems only continues to grow, future cyberattacks could be even more devastating and dangerous.
In the end, it was a sheer stroke of luck that Maersk managed to locate a single domain controller which contained data backups and hadn’t been impacted by the attack. Proper cybersecurity measures such as updated firmware and BIOS can help to limit or minimize future cyber attacks, and the near catastrophe that was Maersk should be a lesson to organizations worldwide.
Have a Firewall
Having a firewall is an essential part of a holistic cybersecurity strategy. Essentially, a firewall is a software or hardware device that protects your server system from hackers, worms, and all types of viruses. Since computers are almost always hooked up to a network (either corporate or home networks), a firewall can help to protect your confidential digital information. If your organization isn’t running a firewall, you’re at a significantly higher risk for an attack.
Download Critical Updates
At the level of the individual, computer updates seem to happen at the most inconvenient time. You’re working under a deadline to finish an important project, and that’s when your computer prompts you to install an update -- which, of course, involves restarting your system and waiting for the update to install. It’s easy to click “remind me later” and get back to work, but updates are critical to system security.
It’s not just individual users who commit this error, either. As an IT professional, you might find yourself pushing critical updates back in your schedule to make way for what feels like more pressing tasks in the interim. But without these essential updates, your organization’s systems are vulnerable to attack.
While we typically think of cyberattacks as occurring digitally, it’s important to take the physical safety of your systems into account as well. Putting together procedures and rules that limit access to computers and other hardware is important. Meanwhile, you should ensure that all servers are stored in a secure area is essential. Passwords are important, too, and two factor authentication is highly recommended if you want to minimize the potential threat of a data breach.
Review Policies and Procedures
When was the last time your organization reviewed its policies and procedures? Do you have review processes in place? Make it a habit to review your policies and practices on an annual basis to ensure that you’re up to date when it comes to cybersecurity.
As part of your annual review, you might consider upgrading existing hardware as well. If you’re ready to upgrade your existing server system, networking components, and more, Integrity Global Solutions stocks a wide range of used and refurbished parts and hardware from Dell, Cisco, HPE, and other major brands. Click here to browse our full selection of new and used servers, replacement parts, and other used hardware. Not sure what you need? Just chat with us for assistance!