National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) kicked off its’ 17th year on October 1st. NCSAM’s purpose is to stress the importance of cybersecurity, and keep Americans secure online. With the average data breach costing $3.86 million, according to IBM and Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Cost of A Data Breach Report, it is more important than ever for companies and individuals to understand what they can do to prevent a data breach.
For this year’s theme, NCSAM emphasized “If You Connect It, Protect It,” focusing on the following areas in promotions and outreach:
- If You Connect It, Protect It
- Securing Devices at Home and Work
- Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
- The Future of Connected Devices
If You Connect It, Protect It
In 2020, there are so many devices in your home that connect to the internet, how do you protect yourself from bad actors?
- Two-Factor Authentication – Fraudsters can easily hack a password on a smart doorbell or on a security system, which is why it’s imperative to have two-factor authentication on these devices. It is impossible to replicate a thump print, which will prevent a criminal from accessing your home.
- Privacy Settings – Cyber criminals have been known to access cameras on smart TVs and broadcast what they find on the internet. To prevent this from happening to you and your family, go to your TV’s privacy settings and turn off any features that are labeled as data collection, ad tracking, personal advertising and voice or face recognition. For any items that have speakers, like thermostats, make sure in the privacy settings to turn the speakers off when you are away.
- Password Enabled – Make sure that you are changing your passwords every 90 days for all devices, and that the passwords are strong.
Online privacy and security are huge issues. On “Consumer 101,” Consumer Reports expert Maria Rerecich explains why it’s not just phones and computers that people should be concerned about.
Securing Devices at Home and Work
With many employees still working at home due to Covid-19, and 23% of data breaches happening because of human error, it is very important to keep your work and personal devices secure.
Cyber criminals can access your system via WIFI and your router. Once they are in, they can connect to all of your devices. It is important to remember to use next-gen AV on all of your all tablets and laptops and install a firewall between router and devices. Stay current on the updates for your devices; hackers look for devices that have not been updated.
Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
Withs so many devices in healthcare that are reliant on the internet, from pace makers to blood pressure cuffs, it’s not surprising that healthcare has the highest average industry cost for data breaches, $7.13 million.
“I think that’s a given in the world of cybersecurity,” said Gregory T. Garcia, executive director for cybersecurity at the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council. “The more technological innovation, the more opportunity there is for exploit, for vulnerabilities and threats.”
It is important that healthcare devices are secure, because if a cyber criminal hacks one blood pressure cuff, there could be a ripple effect. All the devices are on the same system and other data is vulnerable. Once in the system, cyber criminals can get a hold of personal health records (PHR), payment information, and could shut the whole system down. It is important that everyone from the C-suite are involved in training, must know how to secure devices, and must understand how important strong passwords are, especially during Covid.
The Future of Connected Devices
There are a lot of predictions of what the future holds for IoT. Smart homes will get smarter, hackers will find more crimes to commit, and cybersecurity will take on greater importance.
- Routers will play an important role, and protect your home from bad actors. The router will secure the entry point of the internet into your home.
- Cities will adopt smart technology to save time and money
- Artificial intelligence will continue to grow
Protect Your Data with Bluefin
In a world rife with data security threats, one of the best ways you can protect your data is by making sure it never traverses your system. Bluefin’s PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization solutions are designed to do just that.