October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Department of Commerce – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign – is highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.
As recent major cybersecurity incidents have occurred, cybercriminals often rely on human error – like failing to install software patches, clicking on malicious links and creating easy-to-guess passwords – to gain access to systems and information. Every one of us – from senior leadership to the newest employee – is responsible for keeping our organization’s information and systems secure. That’s why strong cybersecurity practices are so important.
Cybersecurity isn’t just the job of the IT department. Many of our jobs require the internet and anyone with access to our network is a potential point of vulnerability. Cybercriminals are becoming ever more advanced, and we must be vigilant to protect our data and systems from cyber threats.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a good time to remind ourselves to be safe online. Below are simple steps you can take to improve cybersecurity at work and at home:
- If you come across something suspicious online, immediately report it to your IT department.
- Set strong passwords that are long but simple and memorable.
- Keep your usernames, passwords or other computer/website access codes private.
- Only open emails and attachments from people you know.
- Do not install or connect any personal software or hardware to the organization’s network without permission from the IT department.
- Make electronic and physical backups or copies of all your important work. Do the same for your personal files on your home computer.
- When you work from home, secure your internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information and hiding your Wi-Fi network.
The Department of Commerce is committed to the cybersecurity of our organization and our employees. We provide information, via the Commerce Connection website intranet site, on tips and ways to keep yourself safe at work and at home. We also require all employees to participate in annual Cyber Security Awareness Training.
You can learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and how you can be safe online at https://www.dhs.gov/ncsam. To receive cybersecurity tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and sign up to get email updates from the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.