Consumer Peripherals

Computer Security Day: How vulnerable are you?

27 November 2019

The Association for Computer Security established the first Computer Security Day in 1988 as a way to raise awareness about computer security issues. Today, this is more important than ever as the use of computers has expanded to just about every facet of daily life and, consequently, so have the threats.

Computer Security Day, November 30, is a reminder for businesses and individuals to protect the valuable information, resources and tools on their computers, and by doing so, the people who use them. The following checklist identifies ways to practice safe computing.

  • Keep all software updated and enable Windows update.
  • Install and keep running antivirus software.
  • Turn on Windows Firewall.
  • Always use strong passwords.
  • Require a password for computer access.
  • Don’t share passwords and don’t write them down.
  • Do not store passwords on a web browser.
  • Remove unused programs.
  • Secure your wireless network.
  • Back up critical data.
  • Use caution when browsing the internet.
  • Periodically remove temporary internet files.
  • Review social media settings.
  • Log off the computer when not using it.

Cybersecurity threats go beyond desktop computers

In July, Kaspersky Industrial Cybersecurity released the results of its annual survey, The State of Industrial Cybersecurity 2019, related to operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS). Reputational damage (87%), injury or death (84%) and environmental damage (63%) were the top OT/ICS cybersecurity concerns identified by respondents. Surprisingly, while 87% of respondents stated that they prioritize cybersecurity, only 57% indicated that they have a dedicated cybersecurity budget.

For the past several years, Engineering360 has covered multiple cybersecurity vulnerabilities in a number of devices. These machine tools, for example, have sensors for monitoring their health, and these smart valves can be remotely controlled and monitored, posing risks in industrial settings. Consumer products such as washing machines, mobile phones and video game consoles can also contain embedded systems, and even smart lightbulbs, voice assistants like Alexa and hotel door locks can be targets of hacking.

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