What are you doing to help protect the Critical Infrastructure?

Security Awareness Training & Protecting the Critical Infrastructure

As a citizen in the United States, whether we know it or not we all have a role to play in protecting the critical infrastructure.

We see almost daily in the news that citizens in the U.S. are being targeted in cyber-attacks by terrorist groups, Nation States and organized crime groups.

These groups use cybercrime to advance their goals and victimize U.S. citizens and attack our critical infrastructure. Everyone in the U.S. now has a role to play to protect against cybercrime and identity theft.

What are you and your organization doing to protect our critical infrastructure?

What Is the Critical Infrastructure? The nation’s critical infrastructure provides the essential services that underpin American society and serve as the backbone of our nation’s economy, security, and health. We know it as the power we use in our homes, the water we drink, the transportation that moves us, the stores we shop in, and the communication systems we rely on to stay in touch with friends and family.[1]

Why we all have a role in protecting the critical infrastructure and our community:

  • Globally – Terrorist, Nation States and organized crime groups use cybercrime to obtain funds.
  • Personally – Your personal and family’s identity information is always at risk!
  • Company – Your businesses reputation and success now requires cyber security best practices
    We all are familiar with the concept “see something – say something” but what are you doing to protect and educate your organization and those you care about so they don’t fall victim to these crimes?

Cyber security awareness training is not complicated! – Let’s start with the basics and let’s do a few things really well!

  • Strong passwords – develop strong passwords and protect them
  • Phishing email education – Stop automatically clicking on every email link and attachment you get. When you receive an email, you were not expecting from a name you recognize consider contacting the sender independently before you click on links or attachments.
  • Backup all computers and update operating systems and software regularly
  • Two factor authentication a must for all financial accounts – Learn about two factor authentication and turn it on for all financial accounts.
  • Social Media Security – Sharing too much information on social media increases the risk you will be victimized. Telling the world, you are on vacation with pictures opens up the risk your home will be burglarized.
  • Secure your devices – Don’t leave your laptop, phone or tablet unattended even for a moment. Don’t leave anything in your car you don’t want stolen because it’s just a matter of time.
  • Internet of things and device management – Understand how all of your devices connect to the Internet and what information you are sharing. Check security setting for all devices including smart watches and fitness bands.

I started my law enforcement career in 1978 in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. I watched the law enforcement and our governments’ evolution as computers went from an unproven concept to a way of life.

One of my many assignments with the U.S. Secret Service included the USSS computer section in Washington DC in 1991. As a gun carrying agent among the main-frame computer programmers I was certainly an anomaly. After that assignment, I moved on to a USSS protection assignment and worked in the White House.

For over thirty years, I have felt like Paul Revere trying to tell everyone to get prepared for the pending attacks. For many years, no one listened but in the last few years’ things are finally starting to change.

The value of security awareness training in protection of the critical infrastructure:

In 2007, I founded the Center for Information Security Awareness – CFISA (https://www.cfisa.com) to educate people on ways to protect themselves against cybercrime. In our training, we always stress that as citizens we need to protect ourselves, our community and the Nation from growing cyber security threats.

We all have a role in protecting our critical infrastructure and security awareness training can help to reduce risk. Being aware of new crimes and scams in the news is a fundamental part of security awareness training.

Sharing new scams and crimes you hear about in the news with others, is important to ensure that the people you care about do not fall victim to these types of crimes.

The Center for Information Security Awareness, (https://www.cfisa.org) has been providing online and in-person security awareness training since 2007.

All new and updated lessons as of July 2017.

[1] https://www.dhs.gov/what-critical-infrastructure