National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is observed every October to raise awareness around the importance of cybersecurity. As we head into a new month, we remain focused on promoting the importance of practicing vigilance about cybersecurity year-round.
At SiteLock, our mission is to help create a secure Internet for all users. Regardless of industry, age or education, cybersecurity concerns us all. Cyberattacks can impact individuals as young as children, and organizations as large as Yahoo. Learn from the examples we provide in this blog as SiteLock President, Neill Feather, weighs in on why cybersecurity should matter to you.
“Companies should look beyond their IT framework and incorporate cybersecurity into their overall business strategies.”– Neill Feather
Cyberattacks can happen to anyone, even some of the world’s largest Technology companies. In September 2016, Yahoo confirmed it was the victim of one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history. The security breach impacted 500 million users.
The stolen account information includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and hashed passwords. This breach was disclosed at a time when Verizon had plans to buy Yahoo, which added an element of skepticism to the acquisition.
“When higher education institutions are hit with cyberattacks, they have to find ways to pay for the damage. Sometimes the clean up fees are paid for by their students.” – Neill Feather
College campuses are often the targets of cyberattacks. Take it from Rutgers University, which experienced six DDoS attacks in 2015 – one of which lasted as long as five days. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is an attempt to make a website or network unavailable by flooding the target with hundreds (or sometimes thousands) of requests at once.
Due to these attacks, students at Rutgers were unable to access certain online class portals. To make matters worse, Rutgers was forced to raise tuition and fees by 2.3 percent for the 2015-2016 school year to pay for an increase in their IT cybersecurity budget, which directly impacted its students.
“We can look at managing security as managing risk. When determining our risks, it is important we first identify what our risk factors are.” – Neill Feather
Unfortunately, even children are targeted by cybercriminals. Many daycares have incorporated web security cameras into the classroom. The footage allows parents to monitor their children in real-time. In August 2016, cybercriminals hacked a Tennessee based daycare’s feed and posted the live footage to a Russian website. As soon as the daycare was alerted of the live stream, they unplugged the cameras.
“Taking a proactive approach to security is one of the most critical steps organizations can make.” – Neill Feather
Hospital patients need to worry about cyberattacks and data breaches, too. MedStar, a hospital chain in D.C., suffered from a massive cyberattack in March 2016. The hackers responsible for the attack infiltrated the chain’s systems with a virus that shut down its IT Infrastructure.
MedStar’s 35,000 employees couldn’t access their emails or look up digital patient records. As a result, they had to resort to paper records. The situation was so extreme that some patients were reportedly turned away from patient care.
“Ask yourself, what is your responsibility to the Internet at large?” – Neill Feather
Everyone who uses the Internet is at risk of cyber threats. Without proper website security, every website we visit could have a potential vulnerability. Just because October is over, doesn’t mean we should halt our efforts to raise awareness around cybersecurity. We can start by understanding why cybersecurity matters, so we can work together to make our cyber world a better and safer place.
To learn how you can play your part in cybersecurity, visit SiteLock.com.