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OCTOBER IS THE EUROPEAN CYBER SECURITY MONTH

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OCTOBER IS THE EUROPEAN CYBER SECURITY MONTH

ECSM (European Cyber Security Month) is an initiative coordinated by Enisa (European Union Agency for Information Security) and the European Commission, with the aim of promoting Cyber Security through events and initiatives to raise awareness.

The campaign takes place every year in October and is supported by EU Member States and hundreds of European partners.

Since its first edition in 2012, the European Cyber Security Month has promoted its activities by adopting the slogan “Information Security is a shared responsibility”.

The EU Cyber Security Agency coordinates the organization of the ECSM campaign each year by acting as a “hub” for all Member States, EU institutions and participating organizations.

The 2021 edition is strongly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which although it helped to spread the use of digital, on the other hand had put system security to a severe test.

The main objective is always to ensure that EU end users and organizations receive correct information about Cyber Security in order to understand risks and main threats.

#ThinkB4UClick (think before clicking) is therefore the main theme of this year’s campaign, in its 2 forms:

  • First aid, guidelines on what to do if you fall victim to a cyber attack
  • Be cyber-safe at home

Even this year the European Cyber Security Month will be supported in Italy by Clusit (Italian Association for Cyber Security) together with various organizations, universities and research centers.

 

You can find the list of initiatives promoted by the association for the ECSM2021 campaign in CLUSIT website.

As a member of the Clusit Scientific Committee, our CEO Sofia Scozzari is one of the Italian Partners for the ECSM2021 and she will participate with a series of events and initiatives.

To join the campaign, you can add an activity on the Cyber Security Month website or by sending it to Clusit.

You can also support the campaign online on Twitter or Facebook with references to @CyberSecMonth, #CyberSecMonth, #ThinkB4UClick

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SMART WORKING IN COVID PERIOD: WHAT ARE THE 3 PRIORITIES FOR CYBER SECURITY?

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The Coronavirus emergency is slowly coming back, but it has profoundly changed the paradigms of the IT world, in particular in relation to smart working.

Cyber Security is facing important and in some ways unprecedented challenges.

What are the three priorities for IT security in the new normal and in smart working?

The Coronavirus emergency and in particular the long “lockdown” period have had the side effect of spreading the practice of smart-working, adopted out of necessity and in a very short time – often without adequate preparation -.

Despite the immediate advantages, working remotely, often with personal tools and in the absence of an IT infrastructure and appropriate security practices, can give rise to critical issues and risks that must be understood in order to be able to mitigate them.

In particular, there are three priorities to consider regarding the Cyber Security aspects.

  • Attention to privacy and confidentiality

Since the Covid emergency is finally coming back, it is again possible to work in “smart” mode even from public places, business centers and co-working stations.

However, this exposes us to greater privacy and confidentiality risks than working in the office.

In fact, it is important to remember to protect the confidentiality of the information and documents you are working on in any context, avoiding telephone calls and conference calls in crowded places and making use of encrypted channels when possible.

It is also good to avoid the use of free Wifi networks – unless they use the WPA2 security protocol -, avoiding connecting to open – unsecured – networks, and blocking webcams and microphones when not in use.

  • Check the security of devices and connections

The security of devices and connections is a fundamental aspect for working safely, and it cannot be forgotten especially if you work from home or remotely, or in a less controlled and protected environment than an office.

The installation of antivirus systems – always up to date! – and the constant, immediate “patching” of operating systems and applications – as soon as updates are available – must also have priority over personal tools, if they are used in a hybrid way.

It is important to check the security of the protocols – for example, always prefer HTTPS connections – when accessing business sites, during online purchases and when using any remote corporate resource.

In addition, when possible, it is good to use two-factor authentication – 2FA – for access to sites and applications.

Passwords must be strong, sufficiently complex and above all different for each application and service: in this regard, “password managers” can be an excellent management tool, being able to generate unique passwords and remember them for the user, keeping them in safe way.

Whenever possible, other solutions should also be used to transparently raise the security levels of our connections: VPN – Virtual Private Networks -, software for blocking advertisements and potentially harmful elements – AD Blockers – and the use of DNS servers – Domain Name Systems – secure – using the DNSCrypt protocol and setting encrypted DNS server addresses – are absolutely recommended.

  • Be aware of risks and threats

Malware, phishing, ransomware and online fraud are now well-known threats, but increasingly widespread and current.

The universal advice always applies to never open suspicious documents and links, using only a “sandbox” system for any checks, without risking damaging company systems or losing data.

Remember to download apps and programs only from trusted sources and official stores, contacting the system administrator in case of any doubt.

Illegal websites – for example video streaming, pirated software downloads, etc. – represent an additional serious risk of ransomware and malware infection and should absolutely be avoided.

Cyber threats can also be conveyed through Social Media, so it is important not to share too many details about your work or information about your customers, current activities, etc. on Social accounts.

It is also advisable to always verify that a colleague’s connection request is real, and not made by an attacker.

Finally, it is important to back up regularly with company-approved solutions and external storage that are not permanently connected to the workstation – in the event of ransomware, this could save data.

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WHY CLASSIFY CYBER ATTACKS IS CONVENIENT

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Over the past 10 years we analyzed and classified thousands of successful and public domain Cyber ​​attacks (for a total of over 12,000 attacks), investigating about 20,000 sources.

A remarkable effort in terms of time and commitment.

But why is it so important to analyze successful cyber attacks?

Here are the three main reasons:

REASON # 1: THREATS ARE NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE

The analysis and classification activity allows us to realize that different industry sectors and targets are affected by different types of attacks.

We often hear about Cybercrime or attack techniques such as Ransomware or Phishing.

But the truth is that not all types of victims are equally subject to these threats.

Being able to understand to what extent and to which threats you are most exposed is an advantage in terms of risk mitigation.

REASON #2: THERE IS NO SOLUTION VALID FOR EVERYONE

If different threats affect Cyber ​​attacks victims in different ways, it is evident that there cannot be a single universally defend solution.

Indeed, a manufacturing company, for example, will be more exposed to different types of attacks than a bank.

Understanding this difference and having the tools to find this information helps to elaborate more effective and targeted defense strategies.

This also allows to optimize Cyber ​​Security budgets that often turn out to be underestimated or poorly spent. Spend the entire budget on a large solution (hardware or software) that maybe protects your organization for only 20% of the threats to your sector, it would be a serious mistake.

The analysis of Cyber ​​attacks therefore helps to evaluate, data in hand, how to optimize Cyber ​​Security budgets to defend your company effectively and efficiently (also in economic terms).

REASON # 3: IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENS ON THE FIELD

Finally, the analysis of successful Cyber ​​attacks allows us to photograph reality and understand which types of threats were able to overcome the defensive solutions already in place.

This can be helpful in figuring out which solutions have not worked or proved insufficient.

The comparison of the data year by year also allows us to highlight the trends and consequently optimize the defensive strategies, as well as to be able to carry out Cyber ​​Security Awareness activities in a more precise way.

Optimizing your Cyber ​​Security strategy is essential.

To find out more, write to us at:  [email protected]

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