October marks the start of the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), an annual campaign to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats and the importance of being secure online.
Despite growing threats to our data security, the public is often unprepared when it comes to attacks and there are several examples of the damage that this can cause. For instance, a hacked email account could lead to major problems due to privacy invasion resulting in identity theft.
Cybersecurity is equally a necessity for businesses. One such example is in the Healthcare industry. In 2017, almost half a million pacemakers were revoked by the US Food & Drug Administration as there were several concerns that their insufficient cybersecurity could be hacked to run the batteries down or even alter the patients’ heartbeat.
It is important to keep in mind that hacking attacks cause irreparable damage to reputation and trustworthiness. In 2013, a giant discount retailer made the headlines with its unprecedented data breach. As it emerged, names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for almost 70 million people were stolen together with payment card data. An employee can cause harm to an organisation if they share sensitive information publicly, whether it’s done on purpose or by accident.
To respond to such threats, what can we do to improve our behaviour and ensure we are more protected online? European Cybersecurity Month is designed to helping society as a whole to change behaviour and protect data, whether personal, financial and or professional. As a start, we can take simple steps to prevent hackers from accessing our devices by visiting only secure websites and using strong passwords for websites that require a login. (It is recommended to use 14 –character passwords containing a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters together with special characters such as @ instead of “a” or 1 instead of “i”.) Another good practice is to share less sensitive information and lock our devices when they are not in use.
Businesses must approach cybersecurity rigorously, building a defence plan and clearly communicating policies and precise steps for each employee to follow. Every individual should be aware of what to do in case of a breach to ensure every adequate measure is taken to prevent a hacking attack. In the process of creating a robust cyber plan, businesses should also look to hire professionals who could make their operations safer.
At K2 Partnering Solutions, we have been at the forefront of cybersecurity staffing and we have signed strategic alliances to offer comprehensive solutions for the growing threats in the security sector. To find out more about our role in the cybersecurity landscape, please visit https://k2partnering.com/technologies/cybersecurity-recruitment/
Ilaria Bommarito, Marketing Executive based at K2 Partnering Solutions HQ in London.