Digital business operations are increasing, and with them the risk (and severity) of cybersecurity breaches. Sometimes these attacks are obvious (typo-riddled emails asking for bank information), while others are more covert (seemingly-legitimate text messages with dangerous hyperlinks). Protecting yourself – and your personal data – from these cyberattacks requires attention and proactivity.
To spread awareness about cybersecurity risks and honor Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is recognized each October, here we provide an overview of cybersecurity concerns, discuss how to identify potential cyberattacks, and present guidance for protecting your devices and accounts from breaches. We also offer a free infographic, Tips for Preventing Cyberattacks.
As Internet usage continues to surge and companies undergo digital transformation, the risk and impact of cybersecurity breaches becomes increasingly acute. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach rose to $4.24 million, according to IBM, and Accenture reports that 68% of business leaders believe that their cybersecurity risks are increasing. To prevent attack-related data breaches and disruption, it’s important that individuals and organizers remain aware of potential attacks and follow cybersecurity best practices.
Cybersecurity, also known as information technology (IT) security, is the practice of protecting digital devices and networks from unauthorized access and attacks. Common cybersecurity measures include network security, user authentication, and data encryption. These measures help organizations and individuals protect sensitive data, intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), and more.
There are many types of cybersecurity attacks, but two of the most common and effective threats are phishing and malware. Phishing is a cyberattack technique in which a hacker tries to acquire sensitive data, such as passwords or bank information. This is typically done through fraudulent emails that prompt users to click on dangerous links or download malicious attachments. These emails can be very convincing, so it’s helpful to look out for red flags such as typos, a sense of urgency, and requests for personal information.
Malware is an umbrella term for malicious software that is designed to cause harm. This software is commonly included in phishing email attachments and can download without a user knowing. Cybersecurity defenses such as firewalls, antivirus software, and individual threat awareness are important components of malware prevention.
In recognition of the danger of cyberattacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance launched Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004. Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is recognized each October, is an annual effort to improve cybersecurity awareness and to help Americans practice digital safety.
Although cyberattacks may feel inevitable, in reality, there are many ways that you can protect yourself – and your personal data – from breaches. In addition to avoiding suspicious websites and clicking pop-up ads, here are some lesser-known strategies that you can use to boost your digital defenses and practice cyber safety.
By following these tips and exercising caution when sharing personal information online, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to cybersecurity breaches.
Cybersecurity is not a one-time deal – it’s an ongoing commitment. To avoid data breaches and operational disruption, organizations and individuals need to remain aware of potential threats and practice digital safety whenever they are online.
In addition to following the tips listed above, many organizations promote ongoing cybersecurity by investing in online IT and cybersecurity training for both their IT professionals and their employees. Online cybersecurity courses can help improve a company’s IT infrastructure, improve cybersecurity awareness amongst employees, and mitigate the risk of data breaches.
It is also important to regularly remind employees about digital best practices and to ensure that they have easy access to your company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures. One way to do this is by deploying a mobile safety communication platform that enables employees to access resources, receive alerts, and submit questions and concerns.
Cyberattacks pose a risk to every individual and organization – it's important to know how to fight back.
Awareness is an important component of cyberattack prevention. To help, we have created a free Tips for Preventing Cyberattacks Infographic that can be shared with your community.