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Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybersecurity Awareness

Cyberattacks, fraud, identity theft, security breaches and malicious online attacks are major security risks to computer systems, networks and data. These cyber threats evolve in complexity and number of attacks. To increase cybersecurity awareness and help safeguard against online attacks, the City of Worcester collaborates with many organizations such as the MassCyberCenter at MassTech, MS-ISAC and the National Cyber Security Alliance in events and educational campaigns throughout the year. This includes National Cybersecurity Month along with other proactive efforts to increase cybersecurity awareness, eliminate vulnerabilities and share cyber response best practices and tools.

National Cybersecurity Month

Since 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that all Americans have the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. Co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Cybersecurity Awareness Month has grown tremendously.

This year the overarching theme for the month is 'Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.' The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation's security are impacted by the internet.

The City of Worcester is proud to be an NCSA Champion and support this online safety and education initiative. Check back weekly for helpful cybersecurity resources.

Cybersecurty Awareness Month Logo in Blue

Week 3 Theme: October 19 - 23

Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to improve patient care, organizational efficiency, speed of crisis response and much more. The emergence of telemedicine, digital health records, internet-connected medical devices, patient wellness apps and an increasing amount of third parties entering the health supply chain has created many benefits, but has also exposed the industry to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals regularly attempt to exploit. The third week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will delve into the industry (hospitals, care facilities) and consumer (telemedicine patients), implications of internet-connected device use and what steps both can take do their part and #BeCyberSmart.

Facts & Figures

  • The global IoT healthcare market is expected to reach $14 billion by 2024.
  • Hospitals are at the top of the list of industries most vulnerable to cyber attacks.
  • The total telemedicine market in the United States is predicted to reach $22 billion in 2022.

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Calls to Action

This section provides top tips and advice for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Click on an action below to learn more!

Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background, or using default permissions you never realized you approved - gathering your personal information without your knowledge, while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and delete what you don't need or no longer use.
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Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you or others. Consider creating an alternate persona that you use for online profiles to limit how much of your own personal information you share.
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If you receive an enticing offer via email or text, don't be so quick to click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company's website to verify it is legitimate. If you're unsure who an email is from - even if the details appear accurate - or if the email looks "phishy," do not respond and do not click on any links or open any attachments found in that email as they may be infected with malware.
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Links in email, tweets, texts, posts, social media messages and online advertising are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your sensitive information. Be wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting. When available, use the "junk" or "block" option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender. Don't trust those links.
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Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multifactor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA will fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics or a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.
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Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and bank accounts. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.
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Keep all software on internet connected devices - including personal computers, smartphones and tablets - current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware. Configure your devices to automatically update or to notify you when an update is available.
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Every time you sign up for a new account, download a new app or get a new device, immediately configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings (at least once a year) to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.
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No matter your career or position, it is everyone's job to practice good cybersecurity. Organizations and homes cannot be secure without each and every person doing their part. Online safety and security are a responsibility we all share.
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Additional Resources

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