Cyber Security: A Collective Responsibility
Updated: Nov 26, 2018
It is an undeniable fact that we live in a highly connected world. Everything we do today has a digital implication and our data is spread across the cyber ecosystem. This almost tentacular spread of technology also means that there are many chances for our data to be compromised and for us and our organisations to become victims of hacks and attacks.
This begs the question: who is really responsible for ensuring cybersecurity? Is it the IT department of your organisation? Is it the software companies whose products you use? Is it your line manager? Or is it you?
The simple answer here is that #cybersecurity is a collective responsibility. At every stage there are factors and people responsible for keeping data secure and only if all the factors and people work together is cybersecurity a possibility.
IN THE NEWS: After United States, India was most affected by targeted attacks between 2015-2017- Symantec (source: The Hindu)
What do hackers do?
Hackers are basically trying to extract information from your digital assets to gain access to some data which will be of benefit for them. Since a majority of them are motivated by monetary rewards, a large population of hackers are looking for credit card information, account information and other financial data that they can manipulate. Some may even try to steal your identity to take out large loans and apply for credit cards.
But it’s not just financial data that they are after. Any personal information is fodder for cyber criminals. They can sell your information to other parties for illicit use, they can ruin your reputation and even blackmail you.
Typically hackers work using phishing scams. They may redirect you to bogus Web sites to deliver dangerous malware to your computer and compromise your computer security. Computer hackers can also try to access your computer and private information directly if you are not protected with a firewall.
Video: 10 Tips to Stay Safe Online
What Should I do
The most important thing to recognize here is that, all of us are targets. No one is actually immune from cyber attacks so it is our responsibility to make sure that we don’t treat anything lightly and be comfortably ignorant of the consequences.
Here are a few things that you can do from a technology standpoint to enhance your own cybersecurity.
Update your operating system regularly
Don't open messages from unknown senders
Use a reliable antivirus software
Use a firewall
Avoid questionable websites
Don’t download blindly.
Whenever your applications or software need to be updated, do so. There may be security patches rolled out along with the update
Only download software from sites you trust. Carefully evaluate free software and file-sharing applications before downloading them.
Use different passwords on your accounts and as far as possible enable multi-factor authentication.
Our true responsibility lies in awareness. Always be vigilant of what you are doing online. Be careful with any forms that you fill or any links that you click.
And don’t dismiss anything as frivolous when it comes to security practices. All it takes is one wrong move to take your vulnerability levels to the extreme.
Video: Do you know how to create and remember a good password?