WHAT'S IT MEAN?
Cyber security is the process of protecting digital assets and identities, such as computers, networks, programs, and data. Focusing on prevention of damage, information theft, and unauthorized access (hacking), cyber security is a paramount aspect of any business.
Cyber attacks, or breaches of digital security, are considered the greatest threat to our national security, even more so than terrorism. Cyber security is something that effects all organizations, from a national scale, to small nonprofits and “mom and pop” operations.
Many groups are targeted and their cyber security compromised due to the large amount of important information they have collected and house. This information, on computers, servers, or cloud-based systems, can vary depending on the organization, but those at highest risk are entities containing data such as:
- Social security/identification numbers
- Credit card data
- Contact information/addresses
- Medical claims/histories
- Financial statements/transfers
Hackers are looking for any and all types of information they can use to either steal your identity, profit from selling what they have collected, and/or shut down your infrastructure. Often times, hackers are looking to simply cause as much damage as possible, costing you time and resources.
STEPS TO ENSURE PROTECTION
As precarious as your virtual identity might seem, there are steps that you can take to combat attacks against your organization. There are entire industries devoted to the practice of cyber security, but with these four simple steps, you can ensure effective protection for all your digital entities.
Security – utilize complex, unique passwords. Never use the same password for all your login credentials and regularly change them. Apply software updates, and enable two-factor authentication (prompts to verify login information based off more than one password, i.e. phone number verification, picture identification).
Vigilance – avoid logging into or using unknown computers, resources, or networks. Make sure a website is secure (look for the little padlock symbol in front of the url), and that the address starts with the prefix ‘https://’. Never send personal information via email, such as credit card numbers, bank account data, or health care credentials.
Training – ensure your IT department is current on all best security practices. Continued education is always a great thing, especially when it comes to improving the security of your organization. Firewall protections, updates and software can drastically help improve your cyber security.
Coverage – maintain superior coverage to protect all your digital assets. Should your virtual assets and technological solutions be stolen or corrupt, you’ll want to have a plan in place for liability, and reactive, purposes. For any questions about your organization’s cyber security, and to put a plan in action, contact Jason Starner at 317.808.7711, or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.