ITD, like many public agencies today, relies heavily on the exchange of information through technology – from access to the Internet to e-mail, computer networks and computers.
It is especially relevant, approaching Cyber Awareness Month in October, to guard against threats to computer and network security. The department has measures in place that help prevent unauthorized use and access, explains ITD's Forrest L. Anderson, cyber security officer.
“The risks are mostly mitigated by the processes and tools that we have in place for anti-virus and anti-spyware scanning, LANDesk security updates, vulnerability scanning and Websense,” Anderson explains.
“The layers of defense between the Department of Administration and what we are doing internally provides a lot of protection, but we need employees to understand the threats. Employees are part of our security plan. Sometimes, no matter how much we do, security still rests in the hand holding the mouse.”
The widespread availability of computers and connections to the Internet provides everyone with 24/7 access to information, credit and financial services, and shopping, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
The Internet also is an incredible tool for educators and students to communicate and learn.
“Unfortunately, some individuals exploit the Internet through criminal behavior and other harmful acts. Criminals can try to gain unauthorized access to your computer and then use that access to steal your identity, commit fraud, or even launch cyber attacks against others,” the NCSA explains.
“By following the recommended cyber security practices outlined here, you can limit the harm cyber criminals can do, not only to your computer, but to everyone's computer.”
There is no single cyber security practice or technological solution that will prevent online crime, experts say.
The NCSA’s top eight cyber security suggestions are practical steps that computer users can take to stay safe online and avoid becoming a victim of fraud, identity theft, or cyber crime: