Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How To Avoid Cyberattacks With IBM

Studio 512

“With Cybersecurity Awareness Month underway, the cyberattacks both consumers and businesses face continues to be a major issue.”

Nick Rossmann, the global threat intelligence lead for IBM Security X-Force, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Stephanie Gilbert to talk about cyber trends and helpful tips for consumers and businesses on how to stay safe from cybercriminals, along with what we can expect to see in 2022.

“The onslaught of cyberattacks that we’ve seen so far in 2021 is forcing businesses — large and small — to reassess how prepared they are for a breach or cyberattack and how wide the impact really could be. From ransomware attacks on hospitals, schools and food suppliers to global cross-industry breaches, cybercriminals are finding new ways into businesses with far-reaching impact. Consumers are also facing growing risks with more and more online accounts in use, remote work, and growing technology adoption.”

“In addition to a growing number of attacks on this past year, cybercriminals have also become more aggressive with their attacks. It’s become more critical for consumers, organizations, and businesses to be aware of the latest cyber-attack trends and to prioritize their cybersecurity preparedness so they can better protect themselves from being an easy target.”

What Can Consumers Do?

“During the pandemic, consumers created 15 new online accounts, equating to about 80 billion new accounts around the world. Couple that with more than 80% admitting to reusing their passwords across online accounts.”

Rossmann said consumers need to focus on the basics:

  • Add a second layer of authentication, such as SMS verification, finger scan or Face ID, can go a long way to reduce this risk. Passwords alone are not an effective security measure, particularly when they’re being reused across accounts.
  • Leverage tools like authenticator apps or even using a free password manager can also make managing your account passwords and security much easier and more secure. 
  • Don’t click on links you aren’t absolutely sure about. Visit your online profiles/accounts directly to view any notifications from the brands – don’t trust your email.

What Can Businesses Do?

“Each year, cybercriminals become more creative in their attacking styles and are constantly targeting new industries. During the pandemic, attacks on manufacturing, energy, and healthcare saw a drastic increase, even schools have become major targets. Many businesses large and small are worried about the threat of ransomware, and they should be.”

Rossmann shared what they can do to be prepared:

  • Rehearse and Test Your Incident Response Under Pressure: It’s not a matter of if an organization’s incident response plan will be tested anymore, but a matter of when. Create a detailed incident response plan and conduct regular simulations with your core team to test your response.
  • Have backups, test backups, and keep offline backups. Backing up systems is a critical best practice. Ensuring the organization has effective backups of critical systems and is testing these backups is more important than ever.  
  • Enforce Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). The cost-benefit of MFA is tough to overstate, providing significant cybersecurity benefit in reducing the value of stolen or guessed passwords dramatically.   
  • Assess your third-party ecosystem and assess potential risks introduced by third-party partners.

For more information, visit

This segment is paid for by IBM and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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