Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. After starting in the USA we are seeing growth in the acceptance of a month of security across Africa. This really got me thinking about what it entails to have a month dedicated to cyber security.

 As with any “awareness month” campaign, it is to bring cyber security to the forefront of your conversations and get you thinking about all things cyber safety, it’s about wanting to learn more about it and seeing where you or your organisation can set a good example, implement more practical cyber security protocols and take a moment to think of how different your environment is since partnering with cyber security professionals and how you could work together to beat the evolving cyber-attacks and breaches that occur.

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We’re only human after all, and well, that’s kind of the problem

Human error, according to Mimecast, is the cause of 95% of all security breaches. Whether it is laziness, lack of knowledge, workload, awareness or negligence. Exploiting standard human behaviours is what cyber criminals depend on and often it is how they infiltrate the most secure systems.

When someone uses the term “Human Error” it refers to the breach being caused by, you guessed it, a human! There are many ways in which you as the employee can infect your organisation without even realising that’s what you are doing until it is too late. Intentional and unintentional breaches often start and end between the chair and keyboard.

Something which may seem like a little thing can cause major damage; so let’s look at a few real-life examples.

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With internet access comes great responsibility

Driving to work a week or two ago, the discussion on the radio peaked my interest. The presenters were discussing the fact that due to the ever-growing cyber world that in order to not have a mile-long address, individuals have started creating an email address for their new born child, and some people are even creating social media profiles for their children.

I started thinking that this is all good and well, but are you going to ensure that when your child is old enough to take over the accounts, that you have taught them how to be cyber safe?

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Hey! Hackers! Leave our data alone!

A worrying number of large company breaches have splashed on the news scene recently. How can you as the customer feel safe sharing your personal details when it is just not being kept safe?

You are expected to without hesitation, give out as much credentials as possible, so then it would only be fair that the companies start to take their cyber security seriously in order to safely say that your information is in fact safe with them.

Statistics have shown that cyber breaches, big or small, have increased drastically since last year, with hackers becoming more sophisticated and bypassing the security measures that once stood steadfast.

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Home, secure home

The largest amount of personal information is stored on your home computer, yet very little effort is given to protect it. If cyber criminals get hold of your personal information it can be used in line with social engineering to defraud you, or your place of work or even use your information in bigger fraud scams. So why do you skim on cyber security at home?

I asked several people their thoughts on this, and they came back with the same answers, it seems like too much admin or they just don’t know what they should be doing.

Most explained that when they come home from a long day’s work, the last thing you feel like doing is dealing with a slow computer doing updates or scanning, you want to wind down, relax and watch your favourite shows. You are so used to it being sorted out externally at work, or computers that are already configured with security monitoring in place, that you are lulled into a false sense of security when returning home.

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