National Computer Security Day is a Real Holiday!
by Sean Curiel, on Nov 21, 2022 5:35:48 AM
The 1980’s ushered in the era of personal computers into the homes of the average consumer. By the late eighties they had become popular and even somewhat common in business and government agencies. With this monumental technology change we also witnessed the birth of the original data security threats such as hacking, worms and simple viruses.
On November 2, 1988, Robert Morris, Jr., a graduate student in Computer Science at Cornell University, wrote the first worm, a self-replicating, self-propagating program. He chose to release it from MIT, to disguise its origin.
It was in 1988 when a worm discovered on the systems at Cornell University, spread across multiple systems within hours via the ARPANET (an early forerunner of the Internet).
The world had become more connected, and proactive security measures would be required.
As a way to bring attention to this need, a chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) created a National Computer Security Day to be recognized on November 30th.
So while some holidays like Cyber Monday (invented by the National Retail Federation) were created as commercial events, encouraging people to shop online, National Computer Security Day was born in response to an entirely new kind of data security threat. One that continues to grow in magnitude and complexity to this day.
The fact that consumers may be even more careless with their personal data around the time of peak online holiday shopping in America serves to further highlight the importance of recognizing National Computer Security Day. In fact, it’s something of a delightful coincidence that you can also nab some of the best data protection tools on the market for their lowest price at this exact time of the year.
How can this day help to serve us?
In this age, it’s not just System Administrators who must make ongoing efforts to secure infrastructure and data. Every one of us must regularly take precautionary measures with our networks, systems, software, and data. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that in the course of life, even the best of us can make mistakes. The truth of the matter is that a vast majority of attacks and threats can be blocked simply by following the security basics. NCSD is a great opportunity to check that our bases are covered.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) - Use wherever possible to enhance security
- Patching - Conduct regular patch management to correct vulnerabilities
- Passwords - Letters, numbers, and symbols, upper and lower case, 9+ digits long
- AntiVirus - Updated and business class (rather than consumer) with real-time scanning
- Permissions - Employee access should adhere to the principle of minimal privilege (PoMP)
- Backup - Local and cloud backup of critical data, following 3-2-1 rule at a minimum
- Education - Can employees recognize obvious threats and respond appropriately?
To assist you NovaBACKUP has constructed a Cyber Security Threat Prevention Checklist that can help guide you through all the foundational security steps that organizations should take. Review this list to see if your environment is vulnerable and set yourself recurring reminders for regular reevaluation.
With the checklist in hand, the November 30th date lingers as a deadline for getting our security in order. Cyber Week offers us the chance to get the lowest price on important tools like backup software. And finally, the NovaBACKUP team is here with helpful recommendations on how to best secure your client environments. Simply request a call with one of our backup specialists.