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Scary Good Tips to Improve Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

Celebrating its 18th year in 2021, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) continues to increase awareness about the importance of thorough cyber hygiene in an effort to keep data safe. This year, NCSAM adopted the theme: “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart”.

While cybersecurity can be scary enough, with Halloween right around the corner, we reached out to our industry partners, experts, and colleagues in the cybersecurity space to gather tips and best practices that could help us all be #BeCyberSmart.  We received some frighteningly smart tips on how internet users can work to keep their data safe and secure and thought we would share some of our favorites. Key themes include the importance of third-party risk evaluation, being proactive against phishing and SPAM, and refining key identity processes among many others.

See below for some suggestions from our team of cybersecurity experts!

Paula Januszkiewicz, Founder and CEO, CQURE

“Watch out for phishing at headquarters and at home! As reported by the latest statistics, cyber-attackers see the pandemic as an opportunity to intensify their criminal activities by exploiting the vulnerability of employees working from home. Did you know that, according to the Verizon report, around 43% of breaches in 2020 involved phishing and/or pretexting?”

Jeremy Rohrs, SVP of Sales and Business Development, SecZetta

“Don’t evaluate the risk of your third-party vendors then leave that evaluation to collect dust… use it! That risk assessment, along with the details you should be gathering and maintaining about these third-party identities, make your IAM systems and processes so much smarter – ultimately serving to protect your organization from its riskiest population of users.”

Carla Roncato, Senior Industry Analyst, ESG

“It costs you nothing to improve your identity security today by downloading a free authenticator app.  Even if you don’t want to enable MFA on all of your apps and services, do it for your primary email provider (e.g. Google Gmail, Apple ID, Microsoft Outlook) and your high value accounts like banking, payroll and investments.”

Andrea Raffol, Account Executive, Gartner

“Minimize or close any applications with sensitive data before sharing your screen during web meetings.”

Michael Needel, SVP Finance, SecZetta

“It starts with identity.  You are only as strong as your weakest link, so knowing your entire chain is more important than ever.”

Frank J. Briguglio, Global Public Sector Identity Strategist, SailPoint

“While cyber security has become a team sport within the enterprise and among industry partners, we all must remember that we are the first line of defense in protecting ourselves and the access we have been trusted with, we are all privileged users and must be vigilant every time we access an enterprise resource whether it is the keys to the financial management system or updating your own personnel record.”

John Hamilton, Architect, Cirrus Cybersecurity Group

“If it looks like SPAM, it’s probably SPAM. Delete SPAM.”

Katherine Bluma, CEO and Founder, Business Partner Solutions Inc.

“Question everything. Won something? Be suspect. Invited to quote on something you didn’t help build? Tread slowly on the unknown. Be slow to trust. Let trust be earned.”

Nicole Rowe, CMO, SecZetta

“As vendors, we need a shared commitment to design solutions that promote user adoption, minimize friction in business processes, and lessen reliance on hard-to-hire skillsets.”

Nigel McClammy, Global Advisory Services, OPTIV

“Take proactive steps to protect you and your company’s identity and data. If you suspect one of your accounts has been compromised, change the password for all your accounts. To ensure the highest level of security, use a phrase to create a complex password. Additionally, configure the security settings on all your IoT devices, making sure not to use default passwords.”

Although NCSAM is only recognized for the month of October, it’s our job and responsibility year-round to do everything we can to ensure that our online behavior promotes data security. Remember – scary things exist every day in the digital world, so use these tips from our cybersecurity experts to #BeCyberSmart!

To read our full list of cyber tips, please visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – they’re bound to leave you spooked!