Digital Safety Basics How to secure your cyber identity.

AuthorSfoglia, Pete

* Here we go again, same evil, same demons: trojan horses, bots & botnets, spyware, worms, scams, and phishing. Then there's ransomware, a set of malware programs that hackers install on your network that blocks access to data or publicizes confidential data unless a ransom is paid, has become big business. Not even our critical infrastructure is safe!

Public disclosure of confidential company data leads to the mother of all bumpy roads. Victims are subject to hefty regulatory fines, expansive remediation costs, and irreparable damage to brand reputation. A publicly traded company will see its stock tank. Folks need to get serious about cybersecurity. While no one is immune to cyber assault, several high-impact/low-cost countermeasures have shown to be highly effective in neutralizing the invisible forces that threaten to undermine our business. Here's what you need to do:


Enable the Windows Firewall default settings on all agency workstations. If you're already using a third-party firewall, save yourself some money and get rid of it, perimeter firewalls are overkill for most agencies. Windows Firewall is all your agency needs to thwart most attack vectors and prevent the insertion of network services not on Microsoft's safe list. Your antimalware system will scan incoming program files for malicious programs, thereby completing your endpoint protection.


2fa technology requires two authentication methods to verify your identity; something you know (your password) and something you and not the bad guys have (a four to six-digit integer texted to your smartphone.) This second hurdle makes it more difficult for the bad guys to access your applications, emails, or devices. These links are to step-by-step instructions on setting up 2fa on your agency's desktop computer, employee home computers/laptops, tablets, and smartphones.


Password management systems like LastPass or 1 Password enable you to securely log into any web-based system from any computing device, anywhere in the world. It chooses complex passwords for you, stores them, along with other authentication information in the cloud, where they are available whenever you need them. So you'll never have to remember another URL, login ID, or password again!


Activate Microsoft BitLocker, a Windows 10 Pro feature that encrypts your entire hard drive...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT