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Schwankl, cybersecurity pros push protecting when connecting

PITTSBORO — Here during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
 
"The best time to take steps to make your tech life more secure is yesterday," Chatham County Schools network October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  administrator Jimmy Schwankl said. "If you use the same password on multiple sites and aren't using multi-factor authentication on sites that offer it, do yourself the favor of making some changes today."
 
Businesses face significant financial loss when a cyber attack occurs. In 2019, the United States business sector had 1,473 data breaches, an increase of 17%, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. That same year, at least $3.5 billion was lost globally to cybercrime, according to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
 
CISA is encouraging individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity. There's a theme along those lines, too: “If You Connect It, Protect It.” 

"As I learn about network and cyber security, I routinely come across the assertion that the users are often the easiest point of entry to an organization for a cyber criminal," Schwankl said. "That's because in order to secure an organization, everyone has to do their part with regards to security best practices. What makes that difficult is the fact that many of us are of an age where security best practices are not something that was included in our education, so why would we know them?"

Schwankl recommends avoiding the use of the same password for multiple sites. And turn on multi-factor authentication — sometimes called two-factor authentication or enhanced security — for sites that offer it, he said. 

"Chatham County Schools offers it, and I highly recommend turning it on," Schwankl said.

Published Oct. 12, 2020