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October: Cyber Security Awareness Month

Logical Talk | October 01, 2020

October: Cyber Security Awareness Month

We already know it is bad to have a username and password hacked but worrying about securing all your personal and work credentials is a little overwhelming. As a result, we naturally slack at being cautious about the protection of our credentials.

This behaviour acts as a feeder for hackers and botnets, which is why they were able to attack 71% of Canadian businesses in 2019. Therefore, the one defence mechanism that you can rely on is the Zero Trust Cybersecurity Framework.

What is Zero Trust Cybersecurity Framework?

Zero Trust is a strategic approach to cybersecurity based on "Never Trust, Always Verify."  Zero Trust is designed to simplify granular user-access controls, offer complex threat prevention (Layer 7 threat), and leverage network division.

A Zero Trust security framework helps you prevent unauthorized access, contain breaches, and reduce the risk of an attacker's lateral movement through your network. For example, if a co-worker asks you for any work asset via email or phone, you must verify their trustworthiness before sharing the said work asset.

Why Zero Trust Cybersecurity Framework In 2020?

Since March 2020, cybercriminals are preying on anxieties around the coronavirus outbreak to maximise the impact of their attacks. Hackers are intensifying ransomware and DDoS attacks at a time when dependency on remote access to computer networks and online services is more fundamental than ever.

A recent study by Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and independent industry analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), states that "The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for hackers and online scammers."  The cybersecurity professionals saw a 63 percent increase in cyberattacks related to the pandemic.

The most alarming discovery from the study is that 20% of global security experts believe that businesses will increase their security spending in 2020. At the same time, 25% of experts think that the pandemic's challenges will force businesses to decrease their security spending this year.

Like ransomware attacks, most attackers' aim is disruption; and with more people continuing to work remotely than ever before and all requiring access to virtual corporate networks, sustaining access is vital to the day-to-day operations of businesses.

This is aiding hackers with an opportunity to run extortion campaigns against companies and their critical services, during which they can threaten to take control of your systems unless a payment is made.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns around some of the recent most sophisticated attacks is that they're relatively easy to carry out, even for low-level attackers.

Here Are Some Security Guidelines For Employees Who Are Working From Home For The Rest Of 2020

Home Wi-Fi
Ensure your home Wi-Fi connection is secure. While most Wi-Fi is correctly secured, some older installations might not be, which means people in the near vicinity can snoop your traffic. Additionally, change your Wi-Fi name and password every 15 days.

Security Updates
Your third-party apps like Microsoft, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. sends regular updates for your apps. Ensure all your laptop and mobile apps are patched and updated regularly.

Lock your device
Lock your screen when your devices are unattended within your home. The chances of hackers gaining access to an unlocked screen are higher than a locked screen. This applies to smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.

Backup Regularly
Ensure all your files are backed up regularly. In a worst-case scenario, if you fall for a foul of ransomware, for instance, you will have a back-up of your files and won't lose your data.

How to Be A Happiness Hero in Customer Service by Ian Chauhan

Idealogical Employee Ian Chauhan

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my dad's factory, giving him an extra hand at his commercial dry-cleaning business. One of the things I remember the most is how friendly my dad was with his customers. He knew everything about them – right from where they got their thanksgiving turkey this year to what grade their kid is graduating to. I remember smiling every time they would chat about something silly.

My dad has customers who have been with him for over 30 years now. One of the reasons I think my dad was able to do that was because he takes time to get to know his customers as he would with his friends. I guess I have adopted the friendliness of my dad with his customers to my work in IT.

The difference between my dad and my line of work is that at the Idealogical helpdesk, clients always call us in distress – when something is not working. But, taking their mind off work while I am working on resolving their issues is how I am able to turnaround my interactions with them.

The best interaction that I have had with our clients has never been about work. Yes, I have a job to do, but if I can do it while I get to know the person on the other side of the line, then why not?

I enjoy working at Idealogical because one of our core values is "We have fun always," which aligns with my value: working with people or for people is not fun when it's all about work.

Customers enjoy speaking with us at Idealogical is not just because we are good at what we do, which is 'we take away their IT headaches,' but we also make an effort to build a relationship with everyone we interact.  

Actor Erwan McGregor once said, "You've got to look after the relationships in your life, and if you don't, you're losing something very important". His words have been stuck with me ever since.

Intentionality is something that we talk about a lot at Idealogical. As an IT professional, my intent isn't just to fix clients' technical issues, that's just my job, but building relationships is what I focus on the most. Striking a conversation where there is a friendly dialogue, the work gets done faster in the most pleasant way.

I firmly believe that every time one makes an extra effort to get to know a person or their issues, they will feel heard. Every time you put in a little more effort to help them resolve their issues, they will feel helped. And, every time you put an extra effort into getting to know somebody, they will feel happy. I apply this to both my professional and personal life.

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