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Safer Internet Day 2023: Four Priorities

Safer Internet Day, happening on February 7th, is in its 20th year!

For two full decades, Safer Internet Day has been an opportunity for education and awareness. The digital landscape has changed dramatically over the years, and we’re at a tipping point when it comes to securing a safe future.

We all have a part to play in creating a safe internet. From cyberbullying to password hygiene, the challenges we face online are multifaceted. For businesses, the responsibilities are similarly varied—organizations have to reckon with privacy laws, data storage, and employee protections, just to name a few concerns.

This year, join us in reflecting on the biggest changes over the last twelve months, and refocusing your efforts on how businesses can make the internet a safer place. Here are four categories to tune into:

  1. Supply Chain Issues: It’s likely that, over the past year, your business has been impacted in some way by supply chain issues. While some effects from the pandemic linger, the relevant issues are the digital attacks that have the potential to impact cargo ships and transportation systems, and stall out whole industries. As more industries have developed remote steering systems, AI-driven communication systems, and internet-based processing, they remain vulnerable to attacks. The urgency around the supply chain problems often pushes companies to roll out technology as fast as they can – sometimes at the detriment of security. Ideally, organizations can prioritize security while also responding to demand.
  2. Working from Home: Remote work is here to stay—and the impacts on internet safety are dramatic. If you have employees working from home, it’s important to take protective action. Working from home often means employees are opening themselves up to blurred boundaries between their personal and professional information, whether through an unsecured internet connection, or connected IoT devices. To combat this, companies can provide employees with equipment instead of assuming that their home devices will be updated, protected, or secured. Having strict acceptable use policies and providing VPNs to employees can also help improve security.
  3. Password Hygiene: If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that strong passwords support a safer internet. The majority of users regularly choose weak passwords and then reuse them across multiple accounts. We haven’t changed our habits to reckon with the computing strength that’s widely available. In order to address it, and improve password hygiene, businesses can adhere to NIST password guidelines. These standards can provide structure and recommendations for businesses across all industries, no matter where they are with their internal cybersecurity. Considering that user error was once again the biggest origin point for breaches, improving password policies is a top priority for creating a safer internet.
  4. Legal Changes: In 2022, Congress passed the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act (CIRCIA), which requires more companies to report ‘significant cyber incidents’ and ransomware payments. To create a safer internet for everyone, more legislation like this is certainly on the way—policies that clarify and emphasize digital privacy, customer data protections, and even policies that make it a crime to pay ransomware.In terms of protecting your business, one step you can take is to get cyber insurance. The requirements for many cyber insurance plans will help you fortify your cyber defenses in the first place, and if you become the victim of an attack, your policy will help protect your employees and clients from legal and financial repercussions.

#SaferInternetDay #SID2023