Health & Safety

October 4, 2013

Cybersecurity Awareness Week emphasizes individual role in protecting nation’s networks

October 14-18 is the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Awareness Week, and the NTC Information Assurance section wants to remind everyone of their role in protecting our nation’s information and infrastructure.

Last year, there were almost 300,000 cyber attacks reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The reasons vary. The attackers may be targeting your financial information; they might just want to cause damage or are trying to steal personal data. Several of those attacks were against critical networks that control public water, oil pipelines or power grids. Since many of these attacks were made possible by first infecting personal computers, it’s up to each one of us to keep our computers secure. The following tips will help make sure that your data is secure and that your computer isn’t a part of the next attack.

1. Antivirus Software. Malicious software (called ‘malware’) isn’t only spread through email attachments or infected thumb drives. Your computer can get infected by visiting a hijacked Web site, by another computer on your home network, by downloading infected software or any other number of ways. A virus scanner is a must, and a free version like AVG Antivirus will do the job.

2. Use your firewall. Enable your firewall or install a web security suite that includes one. This will help to keep unauthorized users from accessing your computer and can also help to keep personal data from leaving your computer without your knowledge. This is true on any network, but especially on unsecured public networks. The free WiFi networks at hotels and airports or at Starbucks and Burger King, are not secure. If you need to connect to an unsecured network, make sure that your firewall is turned on and configured for a ‘public’ network.

3. Patch it up. Your operating system (such as Windows or Linux) must be kept updated in order to protect against new threats or exploits. Keeping your computer up-to-date helps to close security holes that might not be detected by your antivirus program or stopped by your firewall. According to the Internet Storm Center, the cyber security tracking entity of the SANS Institute, an un-patched system can be infected in as little as four minutes, which means that your computer can be taken over without your knowledge.

4. Use a regular user account. When you set up your computer, you probably created one account that had administrative privileges. While this can make it easier to install and run some programs, it can also allow viruses and other malware to run unchecked and infect your entire computer. It’s far more secure to use a secondary ‘limited account’ for your normal computer usage, and only use the administrative account when you need to install software (from a trusted source!). Even if your user account is infected, it’s less likely to infect your operating system as a whole, which makes recovery much easier.

These four basic steps will help to keep your computer secure, which helps defend both your personal data and other networks that may be attacked by compromised systems. For more information, and additional tips, see the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website at http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips.  For more information, contact me at christopher.r.cox.civ@mail.mil.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

A Day of Gratitude

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC Gold Star and Blue Star families assemble with leadership and Soldiers of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin for a photo during the “Day of Gratitude” event here, Nov. 25. In an ongoing...
 
 
DoD
Gustavo Bahena

Defense Secretary: NTC prepares Soldiers for future threats, challenges

Gustavo Bahena Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks with Soldiers during a visit to the training area here, Nov. 16. The Secretary of Defense for the United States observed training and spoke with Soldiers during a visit her...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Holiday season a time to honor the spirit of gratitude

Courtesy Photo Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Rodriguez, command sergeant major for 1916th Support Battalion, 916th Support Brigade, speaks with community members enjoying a Thanksgiving meal here, Nov. 25. Leadership greeted and served...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

New Parent Support Program provides gift baskets

Gustavo Bahena Stephanie Ferguson, a registered nurse with New Parent Support Program, Family Advocacy Program, holds items for a “Welcome Home Baby Basket” gift. Ferguson meets new babies’ families at home and provides a...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Sue Ollar

Worth the journey

Photo courtesy of Sue Ollar Steven Shopa, Colt Boehringer and Blake Bair make the Scout sign during a ceremony in which they were awarded the Eagle Scout medal. Three Boy Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremon...
 
 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Thanksgiving meal brings community together

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC A Gold Star Family child receives a Thanksgiving meal from a Fort Irwin commissioned officer at a dining facility here, Nov. 25. The Fort Irwin community was treated to a Thanksgiving feast at both ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin