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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How to avoid Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How to avoid Cyberattacks
Posted at 11:08 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 14:08:13-04

IBM is a paid sponsor of The Morning Blend

With Cybersecurity Awareness Month underway, the cyberattacks both consumers and businesses face, continues to be a major issue. Nick Rossmann, the Global Threat Intelligence Lead at IBM Security X-Force, talks about how to avoid cyberattacks. He also gives some helpful tips to stay safe from cybercriminals.

What Can Consumers Do?

During the pandemic, consumers created 15 new online accounts, equating to about 80 billion new accounts around the world. Couple that with more than 80% admitting to reusing their passwords across online accounts. Consumers need to focus on the basics.

  • Add a second layer of authentication, such as SMS verification, finger scan or FaceID, can go a long way to reduce this risk. Passwords alone are not an effective security measure, particularly when they’re being reused across accounts.
  • Leverage tools like authenticator apps or even using a free password manager can also make managing your account passwords and security much easier and more secure. 
  • Don’t click on links you aren’t absolutely sure about. Visit your online profiles/accounts directly to view any notifications from the brands – don’t trust your email.

What Can Businesses Do?

Each year, cyber-criminals become more creative in their attacking styles and are constantly targeting new industries. During the pandemic, attacks on manufacturing, energy and healthcare saw a drastic increase, even schools have become major targets. Many businesses large and small are worried about the threat of ransomware, and they should be. Here’s what they can do to be prepared:

  • Rehearse and Test Your Incident Response Under Pressure: It’s not a matter of if an organization’s incident response plan will be tested anymore, but a matter of when. Create a detailed incident response plan and conduct regular simulations with your core team to test your response.
  • Have backups, test backups, and keep offline backups. Backing up systems is a critical best practice. Ensuring the organization has effective backups of critical systems and is testing these backups is more important than ever.  
  • Enforce Multifactor Authentication (MFA). The cost-benefit of MFA [] [] is tough to overstate, providing significant cybersecurity benefit in reducing the value of stolen or guessed passwords dramatically.   
  • Assess your third-party ecosystem and assess potential risks introduced by third-party partners.

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