It is October, and we have something other than a pumpkin spice latte to get excited about. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Since there are thirty-one days in October, let’s take a look at thirty-one cybersecurity tips.
It is so easy to get comfortable when we’re not in the office. We often lose track of how to keep our data and that of our company’s safeguarded. Whether you are back in the office or still working from home, we all can benefit from a refresher course on safely working remotely. Let’s take a quick look at the “Do’s and Don’ts” of remote work.
This past week, Howard University had to cancel classes due to “unusual activity on the University’s network.” As a result, their Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) team shut down the school’s classes for the day to investigate the situation, which they identified as a ransomware attack. This ransomware attack brought to light the consideration of how deep and wide the net can be cast on any one entity. An incident like this forces us to pause and consider the range of data that could be compromised. A university or college is like a mini-city.
We are constantly online and reachable. Whether it is via our phones or that we are sitting at the office on our computers, someone can always reach us. In most situations, that is the point. We live in a time when work is always happening, and no time is off-limits. The average employee receives around 121 emails per day, and I would guess that since the onset of COVID-19, that number has increased. How much "work" are you actually getting done with the constant ping of new emails or messages from applications like Teams?
With school on the horizon, many of us are heading out on that final summer vacation. Whether you are visiting family, friends, the mountains, or the beach, be "shore" to travel with smart cyber habits that will keep you and your loved ones protected in ways that can't be fixed with that first aid kit that you stashed in the trunk.
Working remotely became a part of life for many of us over the past year, and one of the benefits of that setup is the flexibility it provides to travel more and work while on the road from different locations. Working remotely means that we have multiple devices that help us to get the job done from wherever we are. While it opens up many opportunities for you to see more of the world, it also opens up the door for cybercriminals to easily access your information.
Being on guard can be exhausting in any situation. Learning behaviors that can offset the risk of danger can help, but it isn’t always a failsafe solution. Such is the case with ransomware. You need to know the signs to look for when it comes to dangerous links in phishing emails, attachments that seem like they could be legitimate, or scams that direct you to a fraudulent webpage so that you can avoid potential catastrophe. This can be done via ongoing training programs and keep you constantly learning new approaches and tactics as they change (which is constantly!)
The overwhelming theme of this year’s virtual Microsoft Inspire 2021 conference was that Microsoft is fully committed to being the very best partner they can be to their partners. Satya Nadella started the conference with a powerful keynote acknowledging that Microsoft has gotten where it is today solely because of its partners and that it will only continue to grow if its partners are also growing. Every major takeaway from the conference carried along this theme, yet concepts ranged from security to reduced costs to higher functionality. Below are what we believe to be the most impactful takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2021.