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  • Writer's pictureBraxton Hoare

Navigating The Digital Seas

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world, where almost everything is digital, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Whether you’re running a small business in Alberta or simply navigating the online universe, the recent findings from a KPMG business survey highlight a stark reality: cyber threats are not just knocking at our doors; they’re barging in.

Over half of small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta faced cyberattacks in the past year. That’s not just a number; it’s a wake-up call. These attacks are like stealthy invaders, slipping through the cracks in our digital defenses. More concerning? A whopping 55 per cent paid a ransom to free their computer systems. It’s not just businesses facing these cyberattacks; it’s each one of us. Imagine receiving a suspicious email or a strange friend request on social media. The reality is, cyber threats don’t discriminate; they target anyone and everyone. 

In a world where our homes, businesses, and even our coffee makers are connected to the internet, cybersecurity is our digital shield. It’s not just about protecting sensitive information; it’s about safeguarding our peace of mind and the smooth sailing of our daily lives. According to the survey, 53 per cent of businesses lack a plan to address a potential ransomware attack. It’s like setting sail without a compass. Cybersecurity isn’t just a business need; it’s our personal insurance in this digital age.

So what can we do to protect ourselves? Well, there are a few things. 

Regularly back up your data using the 3-2-1 rule: three copies, two on different media, and one offsite. This ensures data safety and a swift recovery in case of a cyber incident. 

Keep operating systems and security software up-to-date. Automatic updates patch security flaws, enhancing your digital gatekeepers. 

Activate firewalls and spam filters to minimize vulnerabilities. You could Encrypt sensitive data to convert it into a secret code, limiting access to those with encryption keys.

Opt for passphrases over passwords, as they offer greater complexity and security.

Establish clear cybersecurity policies to guide employees and prioritize continuous education to empower them in recognizing and avoiding cyber threats.

 Finally, extend your vigilance to customer protection, acknowledge the dependence on third-party vendors and manage third-party risk. Ensure a secure online environment for clients, safeguarding both internal and customer data.

In the digital age, our actions today shape the cybersecurity landscape of tomorrow. Whether safeguarding personal accounts or steering a business through the vast digital ocean, the steps outlined above are the compass guiding us to a secure tomorrow. Let’s embrace the culture of awareness, adopt best practices, and stay informed. Together, as vigilant individuals and businesses, we can create a digital tomorrow where security is not just a measure but common practice.

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