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National Computer Security Day

National Computer Security Day

National Computer Security Day demands our attention every November 30 because cyber security affects everything from where we bank and how we spend our money to who we elect to public office. We certainly don’t want a replay of MyDoom, the worst email virus in history, which caused $38.5 billion in damage, so let’s get educated on staying safe online! The importance of computer security is highlighted on National Computer Security Day on November 30.

History of National Computer Security Day

It seems like every day, we hear about breaches in cyber security. Keeping people and companies safe online is a top priority worldwide. It stays uppermost in our minds on National Computer Security Day. The story of National Computer Security Day is an interesting one.  On November 2, 1988, Cornell University researchers uncovered an unknown virus in their computer systems. Within four hours of discovery, the “Morris worm” virus invaded several other university systems and the ARPANET, an early version of today’s internet. 

Six days later, two computer experts with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recommended assembling a “National Computer Infection Action Team” (NCAT) to respond 24/7, 365 to these kinds of attacks. So on November 14, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a research centre connected with Carnegie Mellon University, set up the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).  

In 1988, the National Computer Security Day sprang out of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Security, Audit, and Control to raise awareness about cyber crimes and viruses. According to a 2004 “Networld” article, “November 30 was chosen for CSD so that attention on computer security would remain high during the holiday season – when people are typically more focused on the busy shopping season than thwarting security threats.” By 2003, CERT and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security joined forces to create the National Cyber Awareness System.  

Whether we’re talking about National Computer Security Day or National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, the goals are essentially the same. Each person must be proactive to protect their online security. So use this month to find all you can about common sense ways to stay safe in cyberspace.

National Computer Security Day Timeline

National Computer Security Day
In response to burgeoning threats of cyber attacks, a chapter of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) creates National Computer Security Day to raise public awareness every November 30.

The U.S. government steps up
The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security work together to create the National Cyber Awareness System.

September 2013
Ransomware wreaks havoc worldwide
Cryptolocker released a form of malware which could not be removed without the victim paying a “ransom”, which may or may not restore any lost files.

May 2017
Wannacry virus makes people cry
The Wannacry malware spreads worldwide, kicking hundreds of hospitals offline throughout the United Kingdom.

Computer Security Day By the Number

80,000 — the number of cyberattacks per day in 2018.
21% — the percentage of all files that are not protected.
41% — the percentage of companies with over a thousand sensitive files left unprotected.
70% — the percentage of organizations that believe their security risk increased significantly in 2017.
69% — the percentage of organizations that don’t believe computer security threats can be blocked by antivirus software.
50% — the percentage of security risk stems from multiple security vendors and products.
7 out of 10 — the number of organizations that say their security risk increased significantly in 2017.
65% — companies with over 500 users who are never prompted to change their passwords.
350% — the percentage growth of Ransomware attacks.
600% — the percentage increase in IoT attacks in 2017.
61% — the percentage of businesses breached in 2017 with under 1,000 employees.

How to Observe National Computer Security Day

  1. Create a strong password
  2. Lucky for you, we’ve got some tips. In computer security, length matters. Passwords that are six characters are easier to hack, especially if they’re only made up of lowercase letters. To beef up your password, weave a 9-character combination of uppercase letters, symbols and numbers. Lastly, avoid using the same password for every account.
  3. Update spyware and malware protection software
  4. First, check to see if your operating system is up-to-date. If that’s set, update your protection software. Run a scan, and don’t forget to invite your other devices to the party. Phones and tablets are also major security risks, so be diligent.
  5. Encrypt and backup your data
  6. Encrypt your data to create the brainiest of all brainteasers. But keep this in mind: even the best brain teaser can be cracked. That’s why it’s still important to back up your info on the cloud or an external hard drive. (Make sure that everything stays encrypted.)

5 Interesting Facts About Computer Security Day

  1. The best defence
  2. Human intelligence is the best defence against phishing attacks
  3. It’s usually too late
  4. Most companies take six months to detect a data breach.
  5. A drop in shares
  6. Share prices fall 7.27% on average after a data breach.
  7. Small businesses aren’t safe either
  8. Small to medium businesses are just as prone to data breaches as large corporations.
  9. A crucial factor
  10. Employees who do not follow guidelines have become the top barrier to I.T. security.

Why National Computer Security Day is Important

  1. It reminds us that we play an active role in computer security
  2. Whether it’s a bank account or pics that should never have been taken, your personal life is unique. This day reminds us that we deserve to have our privacy protected, and we can’t rely on programmers alone to do the job. Regularly updating antivirus software, using strong passwords and encrypting data are all measures we can take on our own. Make sure your “bad old days” records stay in your memories — not in a stranger’s news feed!
  3. It reinforces that our security issues affect others
  4. This holiday reminds us that viruses spread. If you link an infected device to someone else’s machine, you put their security at risk. From there, it doesn’t take much to compromise an entire network.
  5. It helps us appreciate security systems engineers
  6. Security systems engineers are unsung heroes. Staying one step ahead of hackers is challenging, especially when technology changes quickly. Computer Security Day is the perfect time to show appreciation for these professional hacker-fighters’ work!

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