Everything you Need to Know About National Computer Security Day

National Computer Security Day

With the holiday season coming up soon, cybersecurity is probably one of your last thoughts. You might be thinking about shopping – but cyberattackers know that the best time to attack is when you least expect it.

Even though Cybersecurity Awareness Month just passed by in October, it’s even more important to keep your computers protected during the upcoming holiday season. It’s great to finally get a break and spend time with your loved ones, but ignoring your computer’s security could lead to disastrous consequences from cyberattacks.

236 million ransomware attacks took place in the first half of 2022. This trend of increasing ransomware attacks is only expected to continue going forward into the holiday season and beyond.

National Computer Security Day exists for this very reason – to raise awareness of the importance of protecting your computer. With cyberattacks such as ransomware becoming more common every day, awareness is more important than ever.

Why did National Computer Security Day start?

National Computer Security Day takes place on 30th November, and started in 1988. On November 2nd 1988, a virus infected a number of computers at Cornell University and quickly spread to other computers. It then began to affect the internet’s predecessor, APRANET, affecting around 10% of connected computers.

As a result, the Association for Computer Machinery decided to create National Computer Security Day in order to increase attention to the dangers of cyberattacks. The date of 30th November ensures that awareness of cyberattack threats will remain high during the busy holiday season, as many people often forget about cybersecurity amidst holiday shopping.

Why is it important?

Cybersecurity awareness month took place in October – but that doesn’t mean it’s time to completely forget about cybersecurity after. National Computer Security Day acts as another reminder to users that they have plenty of control over their computer’s security. Users tend to forget just exactly how much influence they have over their own cybersecurity.

However, it isn’t just individual users that forget about cybersecurity. Organisations fall prey to unsuspecting cyberattacks that cause massive damages, in terms of both finance and reputation. It’s reported that 95% of cyberattacks take place due to human error.

Most commonly, insufficient preparation causes cyberattacks to succeed. This could include mistakes such as a user clicking on an unsafe link or attachment. If one user slips up and allows one computer to get infected, the data in your entire organisation can be compromised as a result. Hence, awareness is essential to help your employees stay alert for cyberattacks at all times.

Evolving cyberthreats

Cyberattacks can come in many forms. Forms of cyberattacks such as phishing and ransomware have seen a surge in recent times, and are only expected to continue rising. Viruses are also still a common type of cyberattack that can catch your organisation off if you aren’t ready. Knowing exactly how these cyberattacks work is crucial to taking action against them.

Phishing

Phishing involves a user clicking on a malicious link or attachment, potentially sent through an email. Although this type of cyberattack might seem fairly trivial and easy to overcome, phishing tactics have become increasingly advanced.

Emails are cleverly disguised as legitimate emails, making it difficult to distinguish between legitimate and malicious emails. With phishing becoming so common, it’s difficult for an organisation to completely steer clear of phishing traps. As previously mentioned, one user clicking on or opening a malicious link can put the entire organisation at risk.

If a phishing attempt is successful, the cyberattacker will try to lure the user into revealing sensitive information such as passwords or financial information. Additionally, cyberattackers use phishing as an initial step in their larger plan. If they can successfully carry out phishing, then the rest of the cyberattack that follows is also likely to be successful.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that has become rampant in today’s world. This type of malware involves locking a user or even the entire organisation out of their devices. The cyberattacker will then demand payment for the release of the devices via an encryption key.

The government of Costa Rica was affected by a large-scale ransomware attack, and started in April 2022. Moreover, the severity of this cyberattack caused the government to declare a national emergency. As a result, Costa Rica’s systems such as its health services were completely disrupted, among others.

Ransomware attacks are only expected to continue in 2023. Large-scale ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent, and can have devastating effects on smaller businesses. Smaller businesses may not have the cybersecurity resources to prevent such attacks, or recover from the damages. Awareness of ransomware attacks can help prepare for them in the future.

Actions to improve computer security

National Computer Security Day encourages everyone to take action to increase the level of security on their computer. There are various actions that every user can take to decrease the chances of a cyberattack succeeding.

The easiest form of action to take to increase your computer’s security is to use strong passwords. That means creating passwords that contain:

  •  Upper case letters
  •  Numbers
  • Special characters
  • More than 10 characters

Furthermore, using different passwords for different accounts is also an effective strategy to increase security. Additionally, updating passwords on a regular basis also works well by making it more difficult for the cyberattacker to guess the password correctly.

One type of cyberattack that’s frequently overlooked is patch management. If devices aren’t updated regularly, cyberattacks can easily bypass your computer’s security system. It’s important to keep all your organisation’s protection software updated, as a single device getting exposed to a successful cyberattack can affect your entire organisation.

Cyberattacks can lead to data and files being completely lost. Hence, backing up crucial data and files can prevent this situation, as you’ll be able to restore them. Preferably, back up your files on offline storage, as cloud-based storage is more vulnerable to cyberattacks than offline storage.

Celebrating National Computer Security Day

National Computer Security Day reminds us of the reality that is taking place in the digital era. Although computers and digitalisation have revolutionised our lives, they come with their own set of problems in terms of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is often overlooked and neglected, especially during the busy times of the holiday season.

The holiday season is jam-packed with activities such as shopping, but cyberattackers are well-aware of this fact and take advantage of it. Being unprepared for cyberattacks such as ransomware and phishing can cause long-term damage to your organisation. With ransomware and phishing attacks on the rise, these means of cyberattacks are only going to become more common.

National Computer Security Day exists to act as a reminder that taking action against cyberattacks is crucial. Moreover, every user can take some sort of action to further increase their computer’s security. As a result, it’s important to keep all your employees informed about the various actions they take to strengthen your organisation’s overall cybersecurity.

Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated every day, making it difficult to keep up with all the new threats that are coming up. At Transputec, we offer award-winning managed cybersecurity services to ensure your organisation stays protected 24/7/365, even during the busy holiday season.

Contact us to find out more about how we can boost your organisation’s security in celebration of National Computer Security Day.

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