Cybersecurity essential whenever using Internet

Cybersecurity essential whenever using Internet

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an effort designed to remind the public of the hazards they might face while using the Internet.

As they did last year, DHS, in partnership with National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information and Sharing Analysis Center, identified five focus areas to highlight each week:

» Week 1 (Oct. 1-3): Promoting Online Safety with the "Stop. Think. Connect." Campaign, which drives home that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and everyone plays a role in keeping themselves and their virtual community safe. Learn more about it at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

» Week 2 (Oct. 6-10): Secure Development of IT Products focuses on creating products that connect to the Internet with security in mind. It's also a critical reminder that software products we use every day often require updates to fix security holes. So it's important that you update your computer regularly and keep it updated.

» Week 3 (Oct. 13-17): Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things focuses on the importance of keeping our critical infrastructure safe and securing all Internet-connected devices. The Internet of Things refers to the ability of objects and devices to transfer data, which is changing the way technology is used today.

» Week 4 (Oct. 20-24): Cybersecurity for Small- and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). SMBs are the heart of the nation's economy, and many of them store critical information about their customers and products that would be harmful in the wrong hands. While larger businesses tend to have dedicated teams to handle cybersecurity, most SMBs don't have those kinds of resources. DHS has published a series of helpful guides that SMBs can use to secure their businesses. You can access them for free here: www.dhs.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-small-business-resources.

» Week 5 (Oct. 27-31): Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement highlights the challenges law enforcement agencies have in combating cybercrime.

The weekly focus topics are great, but the main message the general public needs to take away is simply this: Stop. Think. Connect:

Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential scams.

Think: Consider your actions online. Think before clicking on a strange email you received or a message you got on your phone. Consider how your actions or comments online may affect your safety or the safety of your family, friends and others around you.


Hawaiian Telcom Information Security Director Beau Monday is a local cybersecurity expert. Reach him at Beau.Monday@hawaiiantel.com.

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