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October is National Cyber Security Awarenesss Month
Article Written By: Ryan Valiquette, Logical Security Officer (Lasco)
Cyber Security

October 2014 marks the 11th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. This is a good opportunity to reflect on what we as families, companies, and a nation can do to better ensure our cyber safety.

Over the last year we have witnessed several high profile data breaches such as Target, JPMorgan, Home Depot and even Jimmy Johns. This constant barrage of attacks frightens many and rightfully so, however we are not helpless.


Many of these attacks start by using simple techniques such as sending an email with a malicious attachment, which is something you have complete control over preventing. Make sure to scrutinize details of emails you receive. You can also hover over hyperlinks to verify what website it will really bring you to. Be cautious of any links sending you to dropbox, google drive, or any other storage sharing sites. Bad guys like to use this technique to trick people into running their malicious software. If you aren't sure if the email is legit, give the sender of the email a call to confirm.


Password hygiene is also important in this world of continuous breaches. To better improve security of your accounts it is important to have complex unique passwords for each website you go to. You have probably known this for a while but also know what a pain it is to try and remember all those passwords. Many people are now using secure password managers which help create unique passwords and store them so you don't have to try to remember them all. You may be thinking, what if someone breaks into my password manager account? Then they would have access to all my account passwords! A good password manager will require a second factor when you log in. For example a username and password is one factor as well as a one-time passcode, which is generated every 30 seconds on your phone, as a second factor. This decreases the risk of someone being able to get into the password manager account.


Let us use this October as companies, families and individuals to educate and encourage each other while we push forward with more diligence.