October Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Today’s cyber security threats are growing, is it because of lack of awareness?

October 1st, marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  Cyber security threats have continued to grow over the last few years.  These threats include not only the security breaches that left millions of personal data files exposed, but also the ransomware epidemic.  Unfortunately, these threats are not going anywhere.  Cyber criminals know how to exploit data for financial gain, and until we make it impossible, the behavior will continue.

How do we do this?  There are several ideas on how to enhance cyber security, including application whitelisting, but first I want to go back to the basics.  Awareness.  That is what October is all about, cyber security awareness.  If people do not know it is an issue, then how can they possibly understand the dangers and take proactive measures?

We recently conducted a survey asking approximately 440 PC users if they knew what ransomware was.  Almost 95% of users claimed to be familiar with the concept.  Of those participants, 20% claimed to have been victimized by ransomware.  Now, what is interesting is, 55% of those impacted by ransomware had no idea the end result.  They didn’t know if their files were encrypted, deleted, or both.  I mention this because typically, if hit with ransomware you know what happened to your files.  These results beg the question, how many people are truly familiar with what ransomware is and its impact on a PC?

The concern here is the lack of awareness computer users have about today’s cyber security threats.  How can we spread the word about cyber security to those who may be less interested or not as “tech savvy”?

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