National Preparedness Month: Be Prepared, Not Scared

Sunday, 1 September 2019

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September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) that promotes family and community disaster and emergency planning. The theme for this year is “Prepared, Not Scared.”

It is said that being prepared is a necessary component in order to get through an emergency, such as a natural disaster; however less awareness is spent preparing for a cybersecurity attack. Cybersecurity preparedness is often a deciding factor on how much an impact a cyber-related event. For instance, a ransomware infection identifies theft, or data breach—has on an individual or an organization.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages individuals and organizations to develop their own cyber emergency response plans. The plan included guidance on protections and controls such as “keeping software and operating systems updated, regularly backing up files, keeping encrypted copies of important documents offline, and routinely running anti-virus scans.”

To learn more about September’s National Preparedness Month visit Ready.gov/September and see Ready.gov/Cybersecurity. Following the CISA Tips for resources on preparing for, and responding to, unexpected cyber-related events:

Protecting Against Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware threat actors use to infect computers and encrypt computer files until a ransom is paid on malware.) After the initial infection, ransomware will attempt to spread to connected systems, including shared storage drives and other accessible computers.

Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft:

  • Do business with reputable companies
  • Take advantage of security features 
  • Check privacy policies 
  • Be careful what information you publicize 
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall 
  • Be aware of your account activity  

Destructive malware

Destructive malware has the capability to target a large scope of systems, and can potentially execute across multiple systems throughout a network. As a result, it is important for an organization to assess their environment for atypical channels for potential malware delivery and/or propagation throughout their systems. Systems to assess include:

  • Patch Management Systems,
  • Asset Management Systems,
  • Remote Assistance software (typically utilized by the corporate Help Desk),
  • Anti-Virus,
  • Systems assigned to system and network administrative personnel,
  • Centralized Backup Servers, and
  • Centralized File Shares.
  • Centralized storage devices
  • Network devices

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