11 January 2023 • Cyber security
It’s that time of year again when the Cyber Word of the Year is chosen. Not only does the well-known Van Dale do this, but the cybersecurity dictionary also chooses the ‘Cyber Word of the Year’. This year, that word is cyber-shame.
You probably know it, you’re working nicely and a link passes by that looks reliable at first glance. You click on it, and everything appears to be going on! The best course of action would be to ring the bell immediately and report the accident to the responsible colleague. Your heart sinks at the idea, however, and so the whole thing often remains unknown until the consequences become visible.
Cyber Dictionary and the Cyber Word of the Year
Cybersafe Netherlands and the Cybersecurity Alliance have included the term “cyber shame” in their cybersecurity dictionary this year. This dictionary, which was first published in 2019, contains technical terminology explained in understandable Dutch to facilitate the conversation about cybersecurity and to understand technical reports and advice.
An app for this dictionary is now also available. Liesbeth Holterman, the strategic advisor at Cybersafe Netherlands, says it’s important to make sure people understand the correct terminology because a lack of knowledge is often a weak link in an organization’s cybersecurity. You don’t really know how to explain the problem, so it won’t be solved.
The election of the word “cyber shame” aims to draw attention to this concept and to make people more aware of the importance of openness around cybersecurity. The goal is to be able to tackle problems such as ransomware more quickly by showing leadership and making employees more aware of cybersecurity.
A jury led by Labor Party MP Barbara Kathmann, therefore, chose the word cyber shame as the Cyber Word of the Year. There are all kinds of dangers lurking these days, and it’s certainly not ‘stupid of you’ that you clicked on the wrong link. So get rid of that cyber shame, and go for a safe, digital environment with good cyber security!
What is Cyber Security?
Cybersecurity is the protection of digital systems, networks and devices against cyber attacks. This is important for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For SMEs, for example, cybersecurity can mean taking measures to prevent their computers from being hacked or to prevent malware from entering their systems. It may also mean that they take steps to prevent their confidential data (such as customer data) from falling into the hands of cybercriminals.
There are several ways in which SMEs can approach cybersecurity. This can be done, for example, by:
- installing a business VPN
- using a strong password policy
- performing regular backups of important data
It is also important to train employees in the safe use of digital systems so that they know how to prevent cyber threats. Cybersecurity is also not something you do once. Cyber security is a continuous process.
Companies must regularly update their cybersecurity measures and adapt them to the latest threats. This way they can properly protect their digital systems and data and you ensure that there are as few situations as possible in which cyber shame can rear its head.
Cyber shame? That’s how you get rid of it!
If you want to get started with tackling cybersecurity in your small or medium-sized business (SME), it can be useful to make a step-by-step plan. This can help you keep the process organized and make sure you don’t forget all the important steps. Below are some examples of steps you can take:
- Step 1: Determine your goals: Before you start tackling cybersecurity, it’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve. For example, determine what kind of company data you want to protect, and what you want to prevent (such as having your computers hacked).
- Step 2:Take an inventory: Take an inventory of all your digital systems and devices and the ways you use them. This way you can better estimate what kind of cyber threats you can expect, and what measures you need to take to protect yourself.
- Step 3: Have a strong plan: Based on your goals and the inventory, you can make a plan for how you want to approach your cybersecurity. For example, this plan could include installing antivirus software, setting up firewalls, performing regular backups, etc.
- Step 4: Execute the plan: Once you have a plan, you can execute the steps you have planned. This may mean, for example, installing antivirus software or training employees in the safe use of digital systems.
- Step 5: Monitor and evaluate: After implementing the plan, it is important to regularly monitor and evaluate progress. This can be done, for example, by using regular scans of your systems, or by holding training courses for employees. This way you can ensure that your cybersecurity remains up-to-date and that you continue to comply with the latest threats.