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Equifax, North Korea, and Windows XP. What do these three have in common? They have all been impacted by cyber-attacks within the past few months. Cyber security and more broadly, data breaches have been in the news recently at an alarming rate. But just because we hear about it on a daily basis doesn’t mean we know what steps to take to make sure are protected. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and this month, SSI would like to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on common cyber security threats that we all may experience in the workplace.

Common Threats


The number of malware threats such as Viruses, Trojans, and Spyware have increased by over 37 times over the last ten years to include more than 70 million new threats in 2017 alone. Here are a few steps that you should take to protect yourself against malware.

  • Install malware protection software on all your devices. (including Mac and Linux)
  • Be cautious of what you click on websites or plug in to your computer.

Phishing emails 

The number of spam emails sent on a daily basis is staggering. More than half of the 225 billion emails sent/received each day are spam. Here are a few steps that you should take to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

  • Check to see if you trust the source of the email
  • Be cautious of emails with incorrect spelling/grammar
  • If there is a link in an email hover over the link to see if the URL matches
  • If the URL looks questionable then manually type in the company’s known web address

General Computer Security

  • Most user passwords are weak or poorly protected.
    • Create passwords with a minimum of 12 characters.
    • Utilize a secure password manager such as LastPass (lastpass.com) which is free.
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Shut down computers when not being used. This will limit the exposure time for being probed by malware.
  • Make sure the latest updates are installed for your operating system