It is Cyber Security Awareness Month! Throughout the month of October, Slamm will be posting about the importance of cybersecurity and what you need to know. We will discuss areas like 5G, cybersecurity in healthcare, and how to implement cybersecurity tips at home and at work.

#1 – What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security has been thrown around the media more lately and is constantly discussed by governments and the news industry. But what is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is a form of IT that focuses on the creation and protection of computer and network systems. It is like a stonewall that protects a city from invaders. When there are cracks in the wall, builders try fixing it before the invaders realize there is a defense flaw. This is what cyber security professionals do to cybercriminals, like hackers, who’s goal is to enter a system and steal information or data on companies or people.

#2 – What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is key to cyber security, as it is one form of defense from cyber attacks due to the ability to identify weaknesses in systems. The use of ethical hacking is a way for programmers to identify and fix weaknesses in systems within a regulated environment to limit the exposure of flaws in a system. Ethical hackers are hired by governments or companies to conduct attacks on their systems in order to identify weaknesses in their current coding practices. Once an issue is identified, the ethical hacker informs the developers on the issue and where to find it. Then the developers can make the necessary adjustments.

Differences between Ethical Hacking and Hacking

The key difference between ethical hacking and regular hacking is the intent behind the cyber attack. As mentioned, ethical hacking is done through a regulated environment and the main intention of identifying flaws in a system and fixing it. While regular hacking is usually done with the malicious intent of gaining information or money from an unsuspecting target.

#3 – Cyber Hygiene

The key to protecting your data is to implement Cyber Hygiene into your daily routine. Just like you brush your teeth daily to maintain dental hygiene, Cyber Hygiene is the cybersecurity protections and habits you use every day to keep your data safe from cyber-attacks. This comes in many forms, from changing your password every 90 days to running full computer scans every week. The focus is to boost the security of your private data and decrease the likelihood of an online threat.

Things to Implement

  • Install anti-virus software
  • Use strong passwords and Two-Factor Identification
  • Use only secure websites (i.e. https//)
  • Update software regularly
  • Back-up your data to an external hard drive regularly

#4 – VPNs and why its important to have them

When accessing sensitive information on your phone or computer on a public network, it is important to have a VPN. This allows your IP address to be encrypted and redirects your location so potential hackers don’t know where you are. If you are home this may not be as important, but if you are using your phone or computer while in a public setting then it is necessary to use when outside of the privacy of your home. This is a very important part of cybersecurity as a VPN assists in protecting your phone and/or computer when away from a secure network.

If you would like to learn more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, follow the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) on Twitter and Facebook. Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay informed during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.