Cyber News Roundup: Tips for securing your personal data

Editor’s Note: This is your cyber news roundup with the latest cybersecurity news and tips from the Cyber Oregon team to help you and your organization stay safe online and protect your digital assets. We examine cybersecurity news and developments from across the Northwest and the Nation that are important to all Oregonians including individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, government entities, and educational institutions. Sign up to receive ongoing updates here.

One week it’s Cambridge Analytica explaining how it used personal data taken from Facebook accounts, the next week its Experian announcing a major security issue. While news about massive security beaches continues, there are some immediate ways people can protect themselves. In 5 steps to protect yourself online, without installing anything, the Oregonian recommends a few easy ways to protect your personal data:

  1. Improve your password—Don’t use birthdays or addresses or other personal data in your passwords. Increase length and complexity and consider using a passphrase like “WIw7,mstmsritt… = When I was seven, my sister threw my stuffed rabbit in the toilet.”
  2. Check your social media profiles—Look at your profiles from a private browser and lock them down. Look at your Facebook profile in the privacy mode of your web browser and consider deleting personal information such as your high school or where you were born.
  3. Add additional levels of authentication—Many people have more than one lock on their front door, so why not improve the security of your accounts by using multi-factor,often called two-factor, authentication. In another article Stay safer online with two-factor authentication, Mark B. Cooper with PKI Solutions outlines detailed information on how to do this.
  4. Fix what you have—Even if you’ve already started using best practices, they may sometimes fail regardless, and sometimes for reasons outside of your control. The site Have I Been Pwned helps internet users keep up to date on whether their information has been compromised.
  5. Update your software—Set up an email alert through Google with a search phrase like “Apple security update” or “Windows security update” to keep apprised.

Focusing on digital resilience

According to a study by U.S. consultants McKinsey, 75 percent of executives said they consider cybersecurity to be a top priority. Sadly, implementation of technology to prevent cyberthreats is a challenge. But at least it’s a step in the right direction. The next battle is digital resilience, according to the CSO Magazine article Digital resilience – a step up from cybersecurity.

A resilient organization is one that is best prepared to face and adapt to the challenges ahead. That’s still pretty vague but here’s a definition of a resilient organization to consider: an organization’s ability to maintain, change or recover technology-dependent operational capability.

Types of digital resilience include: being nimble enough to deploy new systems and technologies rapidly, assessing new technologies and how they can be implemented into your company’s IT infrastructure, and the intersection of people/processes/technologies.

Oregon is protecting state elections

While the federal government debates about whether or not foreign agents are interfering in our elections, the state of Oregon is taking its own steps. FOX 12 News reported that the Secretary of State’s office has posted details on its website about how it plans to ramp up cybersecurity.

Cyber Oregon partner blog posts of interest