Cybersecurity Checkup©

A Year in Review

As 2016 begins, we will face many wanted and unfortunately unwanted changes; however, something which will not be changing in any of our lives is our interaction and dependency on technology. Whether we want to be Connected or not, we are; it is vital that technology not happen to us, but that we master it securely.

Cyber security has catapulted to the top of concerns for our nation, for businesses, and for us, as individuals.

Personally, I believe that cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats facing us, as we head into the New Year. Never have I seen the rise of vulnerabilities and the exploits of the vulnerabilities as I do today.  Additionally, we have organized cyber-crime that has a 24×7 support system that offers toll free numbers, for help, to the willing cyber criminals, all for fewer than three thousand U.S. dollars.  Today, the cyber organized crime syndicates actually have office buildings with cubicles, for people to go to work.  I cannot imagine the human resource department for this business, but shockingly eighty percent of all cybercrimes are committed by these cyber gangs.

Let us, however, bring the conversation back to you and me, what are we doing to help fight cybercrime? While it may seem out of our hands, it actually is not.  We can no longer stand idly by; we must do what we are able.

Throughout 2015, I wrote articles about actions for the everyday user. Consumer cyber security issues are not unlike business cyber security issues.  Business works on compensating security controls, such as controls around data, applications, identity management, to name just a few.  Consumer security is likewise based on compensating security measures.

Connected focused on monthly action items to keep you digitally safer, based on a security framework; and while there are a few different security frameworks to choose from, I chose one that I use for business known as COBIT, controls objectives for information and related technology. (In short COBIT is a framework that bridges the gap between IT technology and IT governance.  For the everyday user, the ability to show how to use the everyday technology that we use with less risk associated with the technology and incorporates safely in our everyday life.)

The first three articles of Connected focused on identity; your identity, digitally and physically, and actions that you can take to protect your identity. The next series of articles focused on data, and simple steps which can be taken to protect your data.  I then wrote about how with your identity, using your data, you connected with applications to the Internet, and with which devices.  The last three series of articles focused on overall education, which is a primary pillar within business.

The Internet is changing rapidly, what security professionals believed to be safe and secure today, is not necessarily so, for the next Internet year.  Roughly, one Internet year equals ten human years, to give you a rate at how fast the Internet is changing.  Internet education should also be one of the primary pillars in your life and in your family’s life, as we see that technology is embedded into our everyday living.  When IT technology is broken into sections, itis easier to understand and consume and to make being connected less scary, regardless of the cyber security

events that are happening around us, because you know you have done your part to be safely connected.

Going forward, into the New Year, I recommend that you use the Cybersecurity Checkup© to help you and your family stay safely Connected; these are simple task that require you to invest only a few hours a month, yet will give you a great return on investment. Having checked your credit card statements last year, will not protect you this year, reading over your credit report or backing up your data, or having reviewed your applications and how you connect with mobile devices, six months ago, will not ensure you are safe today. However, if you have been participating in our Cybersecurity Checkup© this past year, you are already familiar with how to have an overall healthier digital you, if not it is not too late to start!

Go to our Connected Page, and follow the month to month steps toward being safely Connected.

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