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Thought Leadership Thursday

October is Cybersecurity Month

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Thought Leadership Thursday Article

October is Cybersecurity Month
October 7, 2021
Chief Information Officers
Illinois State Treasurer’s Office & Pennsylvania State Treasurer’s Office
Dear Colleagues,

For the last eighteen months, we all made the shift into a new normal of pandemic work life. Many things changed in our lives, except for one thing -- cyberthreats/attacks to state agencies, as well as our personal data. Unfortunately, pandemic related cyberhacks and the risks associated with financial fraud have increased significantly.  

A special report from Cybercrime magazine last November estimated that cybercrime will cost the world more than $10.5 trillion annually. The financial impact to the global economy will continue to have major negative impacts as we strive to fight these cybercriminals in our day-to-day operations.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. One of the areas where we see a shift in attack vectors is on password misuse, re-use, and fake account creations. A recent global study by IBM showed an average of 15 more new accounts per person were created, and 82% of survey respondents said they reused the same password across many sites. Despite numerous awareness trainings, company emails, and news stories, it is not uncommon for users to use same passwords for both work and personal accounts.

Unless you are using state of the art biometrics, it’s extremely risky to use the same password across multiple sites. Even with biometrics, using multi factor authentication remains one of the best practices to prevent fraudulent account activity. We must continue to work together and increase our cybersecurity posture for our agencies and the constituents we serve.

We invite you to a webinar where we will discuss Zero Trust. Zero Trust is a network security model, based on a strict identity verification process. The framework dictates that only authenticated and authorized users and devices can access application and data. At the same time, it protects those applications and users from advanced threats on the Internet.

This pandemic has influenced a completely segregated work environment. If our cybersecurity is not based on "zero trust" we will not be able to stay ahead of the attackers we face.  Zero Trust assumes the threats are omnipresent and defense should be based on assuming no trust. In this panel discussion, you will learn from experts how they approach Zero Trust in their respective organizations and how critical it is for treasury offices moving forward.

Free to NAST members, join us on Wednesday, October 20 at 2pm ET/ 1 pm CT/ noon MT/11 am PT for an in-depth discussion on Zero Trust. To register, click here. The webinar will be available on-demand afterwards.

We look forward to seeing you then.  #BeCyberSmart


Joseph Daniels, Chief Information Officer, Illinois State Treasurer’s Office
PN Narayanan, Chief Information Officer, Pennsylvania State Treasurer’s Office


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