State's cyber security officer offers cautions
The best form of Internet security and preventing computer attacks by information thieves sits in the chair in front of your computer.
That simple, yet profound, advice came during a two-hour presentation on cyber security by Terry Pobst-Martin, Chief Information Security Officer for the Idaho Department of Administration this week at ITD Headquarters.
Pobst-Martin encouraged the crowd of about 50 ITD employees to use the “Windows L” keystrokes on their computers anytime they planned to be away from their workstation for an extended period. Pressing the Windows L keys locks the computer and requires a password to reactivate.
It’s especially important to secure work computers when leaving for the day, but Pobst-Martin also warned that unauthorized individuals can get gain access to secured areas and steal valuable information or plant viruses.
The presentation included information about “phishing,” “vishing (identity attacks on cellular phones), Spyware, malware, botnets and other information threats.
Attacks are exploding on wireless devices such as cell phones, personal data assistants (PDAs), music devices (I-Pods and MP3 players) and any devices that use Bluetooth technology. Always disable wireless Bluetooth functions when they are not being used, Pobst-Martin said.
She said the state’s Internet security system filters most information attacks, and anti-virus software is effective against most outside threats. But it’s not foolproof. Individual computer users must do their part by avoiding Internet sites that might harbor imbedded spyware and malware and avoiding suspicious e-mail, among other precautionary measures.
Analyze the security risk, know what information might be vulnerable and identify the risks to the department, Pobst-Martin advised.
ITD cyber security officer Forrest Anderson said Pobst-Martin might return to give the presentation again in the future.
“If you have any specific security related questions, concerns or needs you can e-mail or call me directly or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, Anderson said.