“It all starts with getting basic [cyber] hygiene right” says CIO of Scotland’s National Health Service, Deryck Mitchelson.

Undeniably, during the pandemic of 2020, health service providers have experienced the greatest test of their infrastructure, not to mention the mental anguish of front line heroes facing a once-in-a-century test of their inner fortitude. The NHS of Scotland, for example, dedicated £43 million to build new hospitals, which were up and fully functioning within weeks!

It is all the more insidious therefore, that cyber threat actors have targeted those in their most vulnerable state, to extort money.

Given this absence of human empathy, it should come as no surprise to any citizen if they’re targeted for cyber crime.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and in an effort to protect those most vulnerable, this blog-post provides some basic cyber hygiene tips for non-technical people. It is my fervent desire for cyber professionals to forward this article to their remote worker colleague and to create cyber mindfulness this October.

In this 1 min, 30 sec video, you’ll learn about real-world tactics and techniques that threat actors and state sponsored groups use in cyber attacks, as well as how a security vendor fights to prevent them.

Password hygiene continues to plague our defenses. Why? Because most people can’t remember alpha-numeric passwords with UPPER CAPS and lower caps to boot! Instead, use a passphrase, which is more secure. Build a system in your mind, it’s easy. For example, you can remember the phrase “I cannot wait to be rid of passwords.” That’s 29 letters long! The more digits in a password, the harder it is for threat actors to write algorithms to break them. Then, since most passwords need to be alpha-numeric, simply build your own short-hand language to satisfy this need. Let’s say every vowel is capitalized, except the letter “i”, which would correspond to the number 1. Then, throw in a symbol at the end of each passphrase. So, “I cannot wait to be rid of passwords” becomes “1cAnnOtwA1ttObEr1dOfpAsswOrds$” Simple! And don’t worry, the industry is working hard to create a post-password world for you.

Subscribe to this informative cyber podcast, CISO Secrets and learn on-the-go!

Working from home has become the new normal, with only 30% of employees working remotely before the pandemic, to over 80% today. Technology can be intimidating to those outside the IT industry, so most home networks go unprotected, but today’s home network is now an extension of the corporate network. Ask your CISO for recommendations of simple point-and-click technologies to set up your home security or click here to learn about the simple and economical advanced cyber security solutions from one vendor, taking their enterprise grade cyber security solutions to the consumer in an award winning, ease-of-use application, build especially for the layperson.

Finally, for an entertaining family movie night, watch this engaging and informative 45 min show, where you’ll learn what ancient archeology teaches us about a new cyber security paradigm. 

Albert Einstein said, “we can’t solve problems using the same thinking that created those same problems.” This video will help you think differently about cyber security & that’s 80% of the battle. The video is only available through the month of October, so be sure to watch it soon!

The burden of cyber security is a shared responsibility. Do your part, #BeCyberSmart.

Good luck.