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Good Cyber Hygiene - "Blocking and Tackling" Essential for Being Safe Online - At Work, At Home

Friday, November 13, 2020

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley-Romero

November 13, 2020

Football coaches often use the term "blocking and tackling" to describe two fundamental skill sets that are an important part of a well-crafted game plan. The same could be said when it comes to practicing good cyber hygiene.

And, whether you're at work or at home, good cyber habits are easy to establish and, yet, are critically important to be safe online. Interested in learning more about what it takes for an organization to implement good hygiene? The Center for Internet Security (CIS) offers sound advice on not only what's involved with setting up a good system, but also how to assess your system and protect your company's data and its most important online resources.

Interestingly, Vinton Cerf, an Internet pioneer, is credited with coining the phrase "cyber hygiene", who used the expression in a statement to the United States Congress in February 2000. Cerf likened the idea to the practice of brushing one's teeth. It certainly caught on, as the U.S. Department of Defense adopted the term, in the context of having good cybersecurity habits to keep your computer free of malware. As indicated in a 2011 report, it says,"...people are the Department's first line of defense in sustaining good cyber hygiene and reducing insider threats".

Fast forward to the "new normal", in which we all are living in and it is easy to see, perhaps, more than ever the importance of keeping one's system clean. It's important for all of us to know there's help out there to perform some of the tasks to stay ahead of the curve, including right here in Indiana. Known as the Cybersecurity Hub Page, the website features a wealth of resources to keep you, your family, and your business safe online. There are self-assessment quizzes to understand what you can do to improve your online security. There's also additional information related to cybersecurity education that will help you at home and at school, and so much more.

If you're a business, interested in learning more about cyber hygiene, you can take the Indiana Cybersecurity Scorecard. In as little as 15 minutes, the Scorecard -- developed in partnership with Purdue University, was created for the office manager, executive, or IT manager to complete. But, you don't have to be a cybersecurity expert to complete it. And it's designed to provide you with a quick, initial view of your organization's overall cybersecurity posture.

Additionally, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the Nation's risk advisor, whose website features all kinds of helpful information, including a Cyber Resource Hub -- comprised of a wide range of services, many of which are available free of charge. There is everything from vulnerability scanning and risk assessment to a Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET®), a stand-alone desktop application that once you complete a self-evaluation, can provide timely reports related to your online security.

With so many resources out there, you'll discover that practicing good cyber hygiene is an important part of your game plan for staying safe online. After all, it's football season, what better way to protect yourself than by using some "blocking and tackling" to protect against any cyber threats and unwanted attacks.