HAP Blog

We All Play a Role in Our Cybersecurity

This year has brought tremendous challenges to how we live, so that we can do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are increasingly relying on a virtual world to complete everyday activities. Many of our children are completing their schooling remotely—causing a delicate balancing act as we try to work from home, as well—which can and has caused additional vulnerabilities when it comes to protecting information and ourselves and loved ones. 

Anyone with important data stored on their computer or network is at risk, including government, law enforcement agencies, health care systems, and other critical infrastructure entities. Recovery can be a difficult process that may require the services of a reputable data recovery specialist, and some victims eventually pay to recover their files. There is, however, no guarantee that individuals will recover their files if they pay the ransom.

Last month, we observed the 17th Annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has made a theme for this year’s NCASM, “Do your part. #BeCyberSmart.” A lot has changed since the first NCSAM, and this year’s theme reflects our new way of working and encourages everyone to own their role in cybersecurity.

Simply put:  we all have a role to play to be accountable for our cybersecurity and more proactive in managing our information and online activity. 

While no one step can fully prevent a cyberattack, organizations and families can take some simple steps to promote cybersecurity awareness while many of us continue to work remotely:

  • Provide basic cybersecurity training to help employees learn key cybersecurity concepts, terminology, and activities associated with implementing cybersecurity best practices
  • Develop a culture of awareness to encourage employees to make good choices online
  • Provide available training resources through professional associations, academic institutions, private sector, and government sources
  • Learn about risks like phishing and business email compromise
  • Maintain awareness of current events and trends related to cybersecurity, using lessons learned and reported events to remain vigilant against current threats

Also, organizations should develop an Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan or at least update the current plan to include employees working at home.

Organizations and families can learn more about ways to protect their information from a Ransomware Guide recently released by CISA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. This guide is a customer-centered, one-stop resource with best practices and ways to prevent, protect, and/or respond to a ransomware attack. 

While your organizations have been working hard to deal with the most recent ransomware threat, the HAP emergency management (EM) team has been maintaining situational awareness and gathering pertinent information to share; HAP’s EM staff distributed a HAP Bulletin to members on October 29.

Remember to do your part. #BeCyberSmart



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