Securing the Digital World

Six Steps For Cybercrime Survival

Oct 11, 2016 | by Angel Grant, CISSP |

While recently cleaning my grandfather's attic, I came across an old Federal Civil Defense Administration brochure titled "Six Steps to Survival - If an enemy attacked today would you know what to do?" In our modern times, many of us are being attacked on a daily basis by cybercriminals. As such, do you know what to do when the modern enemy attacks? In the spirit of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are my six steps to cybercrime survival based off the items included in this brochure.

  1. Prepare your family for emergencies
    The brochure highlights the family as the mainspring of civil defense. This is true today with cybersecurity - you need to educate all family members regardless of age about the threats they could face while engaging in our ever growing digital universe. Share these great tips from the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign and the RSA Conference CyberSmart parents guide to educate and protect your family online.

  2. Learn the civil defense public action signals
    The brochure mentions "attack" and "take cover" signals. With cybersecurity, it is important to always be alert and take notice of abnormal activities. In some cases, you will catch it before you are a victim... while in other occasions, you will need to know how to take cover when you are a victim. To learn what cybercriminals are going after and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, start here at the FTC resource center. If you become a victim, go to the one stop site to report and recover from it.

  3. Know the Conelrad stations
    Conelrad stations were created as a backup communication tool when all stations were pulled off air at the first indication of an enemy bomber approaching. In light of all the recent DDoS and ransomware attacks, this same mindset is needed. What is your backup plan? How will you access your critical information? The FBI issued an alert to warn the public of this issue and has encouraged victims of ransomware to report the crime, regularly back up data, and secure your backups.

  4. Follow these evacuation principals
    The brochure's advice is "the best preparation is not to be there" - and this particular concept can be used to understand how location and availability can play into many Phishing schemes and how cybercriminals are able to lure you into falling for their scams. Bottom line - resist the click!

  5. Build a home shelter
    It is important to take inventory of what security measures you currently have in place - i.e., are they current, are they relevant, and do they adapt to the many different digital environments you engage in? To build a safe home shelter, check out the SANS Institute's recommendations on securing your home network or KrebsonSecurity tools for a safer PC.

  6. Read these facts about radioactive fallout
    The impact of fallout can range from minor to severe, so it is important to understand the signs of the conditions prior to reacting to the situation. How do you tell if you are part of a fallout? You may notice a post you never made on your social network, friends getting emails from you that you never sent, accounts opened on your credit report, or strange transactions on your bank or credit card statement. If you see any of these, you may be one of the millions of victims from the recent social media breaches fallout. Know the signs.
    At RSA, we are proud to be Defenders of the Digital Universe and will continue to be vigilant in protecting our customers and the global economy. This is not a battle we can fight alone - if an enemy attacks we all need to become defenders, so, join the good fight!

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