From the desk of: Cathy Coloff
Subject: IT Radix and You — Make Beautiful Music Together

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, specifically designed to call even greater attention to cyber security and encourage vigilance by all computer users. While we had some fun with seasonal song titles in our newsletter, cyber security is no laughing matter…nor is it, as some of us at IT Radix like to say, convenient. Barack Obama was noted as saying, “Cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers the United States faces.” Pretty scary coming from our nation’s most prominent leader. The perpetrators of cybercrimes are getting more and more sophisticated, using social engineering as one of its best weapons. Sadly, we’ve had a few clients become victims of these attacks, losing substantial sums of money in the process.

When I first started my IT career, I was fortunate to work at Exxon who were in my naïve, just-out-of-college opinion over the top about security and controls. However, it turns out that 30 years later, Exxon was on to something and the training and awareness that they drilled into every employee and built into their processes has kept me in good stead. I must admit a certain level of fatigue in hearing about all the cyber threats and crimes; but at the same time, I know we cannot let our guard down. We must always be looking for new ways to protect ourselves and our clients. So, if I sound like a broken record about IT security policies, I apologize, but the danger is real—just ask our clients who fell prey.

A long time ago, one of my friends dressed up as a software pirate for Halloween. We had a good laugh at the clever costume with floppy disks strung together as ammunition bandolier. I’m not sure what I’d wear as a cybercriminal—I guess the classic hooded guy at a computer or something similar. However, I think I’ll put aside my cyber security sword and armor and simply dress up as something fun. Happy Halloween!

First published in our October 2018 IT Radix Resource newsletter