Shining a light on Computer Security Day 2018

They say a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, and in much the same way cybersecurity is something we should consider year-round. So, Computer Security Day, taking place every year on 30th November, provides a perfect opportunity to shine a light on a perpetual issue. Read on and consider what you should be doing to keep you and your company safe.

Computer Security Day began in 1988 when computers were becoming more common in the world. While both hacking and viruses predated this, the late 80s saw a rapid increase in technology adoption. This resulted in growing security risks as increasing amounts of valuable data was being held on computers. As such, online security began being more widely discussed, and by the end of the 80s there was enough of a concern to warrant its own awareness day.

While awareness spread by research and development companies such as ESET mean we know far more about security risks that ever before, the constantly evolving world of tech means risks continue to increase. So, cybersecurity is high on the agenda and still climbing, with headlines continuously reporting on data breaches of small companies and big brands alike– one recent incident saw a data breach hit major US retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor exposing data connected to more than five million credit and debit cards.

So, what basic steps can you take to ensure that you are staying cyber-safe in both your personal and professional lives, and your employees are also up-to-scratch?

•    Password protection: It couldn’t be more straightforward – choose a strong password and update it on a consistent interval for all of your accounts and devices, and ensure your employees are doing the same. ‘123’ just won’t cut it and the stakes are high. While it may seem trivial, it’s a simple start to ensuring that you, your company and employees are operating with security at the front of mind.

•    Always stay up to date: Software updates are there for a reason, and while we may resent the time taken to restart and reboot our computers, they should never be ignored. It is crucial to always keep your personal and business systems updated and add security patches when and where necessary. Make sure that scanning and completing computer updates is part of company policy and procedure, and that employees are conducting checks on a regular basis.

•    Back it up: Data has never been more valuable – it’s both the product of knowledge and insight as well as the fuel that allows us to run our businesses in a constantly changing world. And, because we are increasingly reliant on that data, cybercriminals are interested too. While looking for ways to minimize risk, it’s also important to back up your data in a secure fashion so you never need to worry about access to the brain trust of your business. The same is true of your own personal files – if you keep sensitive banking documents on your computer, make sure you’re protecting these and backing them up as necessary.

Cyber security can be a complex arena, but that shouldn’t mean that we forget the basics. Following these steps is a crucial foundation to adopt cybersecurity best practices in your personal life and your organization. You and your employees should keep them top of mind at all times, especially this Computer Security Day.
To find out more about protecting your company, take a look at ESET’s solutions for businesses and make sure you’re protected year-round.