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Indiana Takes Cybersecurity to the Next Level

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Cybersecurity ProclamationWhether it’s paying bills online, chatting with friends on social media or responding back to a message via email, the risk of a cyberattack is always present. In an effort to raise awareness among Hoosiers about the importance of cybersecurity in Indiana, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb officially proclaimed October 2019 as Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Holcomb’s proclamation derives from National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Held every October through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NCSAM raises awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and promotes resources Americans can use to be safer and more secure online. This year’s theme, “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.,” focuses on key cybersecurity areas that include citizen privacy, consumer devices and e-commerce security.

According to the FBI, more than 4,500 Hoosiers became victims of an online cyberattack during 2018. As these attacks continue to become more commonplace and sophisticated, it is important that all Hoosier families and businesses know how to identify and avoid these online threats.

In 2018, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received an average of more than 900 internet crime complaints every day from Americans all around the U.S. and its territories. The IC3 2018 report indicates that non-payment/non-delivery scams, extortion and personal data breaches were the most frequently reported cybercrimes. In total, the American public collectively lost more than $2.7 billion from cyberattacks in 2018.

Indiana has not been immune to these current threats. For example, the LaPorte County government was forced to pay $132,000 to hackers after a ransomware cyberattack shut down part of the county's computer system. In recent days, Subaru was forced to shut down production at its Lafayette plant due to a cyberthreat.

Understanding common cyber terminology and the different types of cyberattacks is one of the best defenses against cybercriminals. Hoosiers can begin practicing proper cybersecurity habits by:

  • Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication (two methods of verification).
  • Create backup files of important electronic information.
  • Using antivirus and malware software, and properly configuring firewalls to block threats.
  • Limit personal information  shared online. Use high privacy settings on  social media channels, and never use location features.
  • Watching for suspicious online activity, and always remember: when in doubt, don’t click!

Learn more cybersecurity tips and what individuals or organizations can do to stay safe online by visiting the Indiana Cybersecurity Hub.