In the wake of recent geopolitical events, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its counterparts, Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD), have recommended that organizations in Guam consider strengthening their cybersecurity to mitigate potential cyber attacks.
Because of this, residents need to know how to protect their digital activity against cybersecurity attacks now more than ever. How do you know if you have been exposed to a potential threat, though?
Public Information officer for GHS/OCD Jenna Gaminde Blas, shared her insights in this KUAM News story:
"If your system is working exceptionally slow, you have slow network activity or you see a system alarm or a similar indication from an intrusion detection tool. Or it could also be suspicious entries into the system or even accounting discrepancies — so it's important to keep up to date with the accounting logs as well, or if you see a lot of unsuccessful log-on attempts, sometimes you get the notices for those."
7 Tips on How To Protect Against Cybersecurity Attacks
The GHS/OCD and MRFC recommend the following cybersecurity precautions during times of heightened tensions:
1. Change Your Password
Changing your password every three to six months should be part of your regular cybersecurity protection. Ideally, this should be done across all of your accounts. However, there can be some drawbacks. Some experts warn that changing your password too often can sometimes lead users to inadvertently make their passwords weaker by simply cutting a couple letters off it. When you make your new password, it's important that you make it strong and unique so that hackers can't guess it.
2. Have a Multi-Factor Authentication
A stronger authentication process makes it that much harder for hackers to break into your system. Combining a multi-authentication process on top of a complex password will ensure that your account is uncrackable.
3. Make Sure Your Software Is Up to Date
Maintaining up-to-date software is central to safeguarding your network against hackers attempting to exploit vulnerabilities. Make it a priority to promptly install updates that specifically address known weaknesses within your network. Additionally, fortify your defenses with essential antivirus and antimalware software. These encompass robust features like firewalls, web filtering, intrusion prevention, and more. GTA's multi-threat security bundle provides these tools to support your organization's cybersecurity and bring you up to date on how to protect your network against cybersecurity attacks.
4. Consider a VPN To Validate Remote Access
For companies with remote workers across the island, ensuring secure access to the company's network is essential. Implementing a managed VPN solution ensures that remote worker environments are securely connected, providing reliable protection for your network no matter where your employees log in from. By leveraging a managed VPN, you can confidently establish a robust and encrypted connection regardless of where your employees access it.
5. Keep Backups of Your Data
It is crucial to maintain comprehensive backups of all your data while also verifying the effectiveness of your backup systems through thorough testing. To enhance security, isolate your backups from other network connections, preventing any potential external access. By adopting these measures, you fortify the integrity of your data, maintaining its availability and protection from external threats.
6. Enable Event Logging
In the event of a breach within your organization, it’s critical to establish a system for documenting any incidents that occur. Create a comprehensive plan to respond to the potential loss of data, taking into account the perspectives of both employees and clients. When you proactively set up such a framework, you can efficiently mitigate the breach, minimizing the impact on your organization, and inspiring a sense of trust among stakeholders that you know how to protect against cybersecurity attacks.
7. Report Suspicious Activity
Encourage heightened vigilance among your cybersecurity/IT personnel, emphasizing their crucial role in identifying and addressing unexpected or unusual network behavior. Foster a culture of awareness and responsiveness so your team feels empowered to detect and mitigate potential threats, reinforcing the overall security posture of your organization.
Report any suspicious network activity or suspected malicious cyber activity to the GHS/OCD and MRFC at (671) 475-0400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cyber Resiliency on and off the Island
At GTA, safeguarding your valuable data is our top priority. In light of the evolving tactics of hackers, we remain vigilant in ensuring the safety and security of your infrastructure. Our cutting-edge security solutions empower your business to ward off cyber attacks and remain fully operational — even beyond the island.
Reach out to our team today to learn more about how to protect your organization against cybersecurity attacks.
For additional tips and best practices on cybersecurity, access the U.S. DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's guidelines here.