Cybersecurity policy a must in all parts of life
When it comes to protecting your personal information, or the secrets of a major government organization or health care company, a consistent, detailed cybersecurity policy is a must. While this may seem obvious, it needs to be repeated again and again, as hackers continue to take advantage of easy-to-patch vulnerabilities at organizations with far too much to lose. The importance of cybersecurity policy and practice were brought to the forefront by a recent TechRepublic interview with Fred Cate. In the interview, the cybersecurity policy expert and Indiana University professor implored government organizations to focus on the fundamentals of good cybersecurity, from looking out for ransomware to avoiding human error. New information culled by Security Boulevard, meanwhile, presents the idea that good cybersecurity is important for individuals as well as large organizations, and may even improve quality of life.
In an interview with TechRepublic, Cate described his bottom-up approach to cybersecurity for government organizations. In his view, "small" issues such as securing desktops and laptops is just as important as some larger measures. This feels especially important to him now, as the continuing COVID-19 pandemic forces much of the workforce to work from home, potentially on new devices.
"I think one big concern is that of course, we're all working online, like you and I are right now. It suddenly means we're dependent on a digital infrastructure more than ever, and we're dependent on our home infrastructure. Suddenly all those things that we frankly may not have paid that much attention to, like, 'Is my computer on my desktop or my laptop secure? How about my devices?'... I think we're now focused, not so much on just big institutional security, but on individual security and the way in which that feeds into a larger system," said Cate.
Cate also spoke on the dangers of ransomware, which he viewed as an under appreciated threat. While he noted that cases had been on the decline, he felt that the structure of many health care facilities, hospitals and municipal governments made them especially vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. Ransomware is a type of threat that infects a device and makes it unusable until a fee is paid to the hackers.
In order to protect against ransomware and other threats, Cate calls for organizations to create a plan and focus on education. Ultimately, for Cate, "the human is the weakest link."
Not only is cybersecurity awareness important in the workplace, but also in your personal life as well. According to an article from Security Boulevard, it may even make you happier. In particular, having your personal information stored away safely can give you some much needed peace of mind. The piece also calls on corporations holding large amounts of personal data for consumers to be vigilant as well, as it is individuals who ultimately pay the price for any breaches. According to Stanford professor of psychiatry Elia Aboujaoude, people who have their personal information stolen or revealed online have higher rates of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Overall, cybersecurity is viewed as one major faucet of "digital quality of life," an index that also takes into account affordability and quality of service, government services and electronic infrastructure.
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