Happy National Cybersecurity Awareness Month from BARR

It’s officially October, which means that National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is underway! BARR is proud to be an NCSAM Champion for the third year in a row. 

NCSAM Champions are individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting online safety and creating a secure environment both at home and in the workplace. 

BARR associates take their personal data security seriously, so to kick off the month, we asked our team what they do to protect their data. 

“There’s actually quite a few things I do to protect my personal data,” answered Avi Benshoshan, senior consultant, cyber risk advisory. “I use the password manager Dashlane to manage and store all of my account passwords and other sensitive data, and I have multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled on my online accounts when available. I also use Yubikey, the external hardware authentication device (also known as a security key) as the default option for MFA on all of my accounts. While researching hardware authentication solutions, I found a study by Google on how effective basic account hygiene is at preventing hijacking. I was surprised to learn that a security key was the only MFA solution with a 100% effectiveness rate against all attacks used in the study.” 

Benshoshan isn’t the only associate who recognized the value of MFA when it comes to personal security. Niti Jadhav, senior consultant with BARR’s cyber risk practice, noted “I protect my personal data with password management by changing passwords frequently, storing them securely, and always opting for MFA wherever enabled.” 

She also added these helpful tips from her personal security practices: “When setting security question answers, it’s simple yet handy to note that these don’t actually need to be the real information! They can be set to any answer to make it harder for someone to try to guess. I also try to limit the personal information I post about myself online.”

Matt Schuster, associate consultant, cyber risk advisory, highlighted the importance of keeping up with software and operating system updates. “In addition to cleaning up bugs and other errors, software and operating system updates are crucial for ensuring there are as few vulnerabilities as possible susceptible to exposure.”

Barbara Donatien, senior consultant, cyber risk advisory, echoed Schuster’s sentiments on software updates, and provided this helpful insight: “I always ensure anytime I enter my banking information online, such as when online shopping, that there is a padlock icon next to the web address. That padlock icon means the site is secured with a digital certificate, so any information shared is secure and won’t be intercepted in transit.” 

Password hygiene, software updates, and careful online behavior are a few of the many best personal cybersecurity practices you can implement—and that’s what NCSAM is all about. Founded in 2004, NCSAM is led by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) every October. As a collaborative public-private partnership campaign, the goal of the month is to empower users and to ensure that everyone, individuals and organizations alike, has the resources available to protect their data and stay safe online. 

This year’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, the theme “empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.” These practices can be used by individuals, but can also be implemented within larger organizations. When we all do our part to protect data online, we make the world a more secure place. We believe in doing our part to make the world a safer place, and we help our clients create a culture of security and compliance so that they can do their part, too. 

As an NCSAM Champion, we will continue to share tips, best practices, and educational resources on social media throughout the month to educate users on the best cybersecurity practices to implement. Follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Want to learn more about how to implement the best practices within your organization to create a culture of security and compliance? Contact us today.