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ND ITD Cybersecurity - Do your part and stay smart


Week 4 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on Cybersecurity First!

Week 4 is all about making security a priority! This means keeping security as a mindset, security first.

  • Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip staff with the tools they need to keep the organization safe.
  • Keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind as you connect daily.
  • Before purchasing a device or online product, research the security of that item.
  • When you set up a new device or app, consider your security and privacy settings and update default passwords.
  • Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought.

Learn More Here

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Week 3 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on Career Awareness!

Week 3 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month finds us discovering careers in Cybersecurity. The field of Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing and in-demand careers on a global stage. Currently the field is experiencing a gap of 2 – 3 million job vacancies. Opportunities abound here in North Dakota, as well, where opportunities outnumber the number of yearly graduates. Whether you are an IT / Developer / Cybersecurity student, a veteran and / or professional looking for a career change, educational opportunities are now found in colleges and universities across the State of North Dakota:

  • Turtle Mountain Community College
  • Bismarck State College
  • North Dakota State University
  • University of North Dakota
  • Minot State University
  • University of Jamestown
The field is vast, just a few of these offerings, but not limited to include:
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Incident Responders
  • Digital Forensics
  • Governance Risk and Compliance
  • Security Infrastructure
Job Service North Dakota Labor Market Information shows these career salaries, in North Dakota, range from $63,000 to well over $100,000

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Week 2 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on Fight the Phish!

Week 2 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on Fight the Phish! Phishing is a social engineering attack that uses email or a messaging service to trick you. This attack vector remains one of the most common attack methods used by cyber attackers. Be aware of red flags that can serve as clues that a message could be a phishing attack. Enable multi-factor authentication where possible. Learn how to educate yourself and others on how to protect from phishing attacks.

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Week 1 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on Be Cyber Smart!

  • Enhance your passwords by making a Long, Unique Passphrase. The industry states the longer the better with a minimum of 12 characters, but making a unique long passphrase can help you meet all requirements while helping you make an easier to remember password. Don’t forget to inject symbols, capital letters and numbers.
  • Passphrases alone aren’t enough though, enable 2-factor authentication, also known as multi-factor authentication. MFA allows you to have more than just a password, you can approve a sign in on your phone and / or use biometrics such as a fingerprint. If you are ever away from your computer and receive an authentication request, don’t just blanketly accept it. If you are unsure you requested it, don’t accept.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. You should always be skeptical of emails, messages and links. If something seems suspicious, delete it, don’t open or interact with the message.
  • Make sure you have current updates on all devices. Often times your work devices are patched and updated by the IT team, but what about your at home devices. This includes, but is not limited, to your smartphones, tablets, pc’s. If you see your app store or device needs updates, be sure to install them

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Securing ND K12 Schools and Students

The ND State Superintendent’s Student Cabinet members, Gov. Doug Burgum, K-12 administrators, and cybersecurity professionals produced a video with the Palo Alto Networks encouraging schoolchildren to install anti-malware to keep their devices safe.

Learn More Here

Protect Your Password

Passwords are your first line of defense against digital intruders, so they need to be secure. Choosing a complex password helps prevent anyone from guessing the combination. Changing passwords regularly and using unique passwords for different accounts helps stop intruders before they get too far. Worried about remembering of all those complicated passwords? A good password manager app can keep track for you and keep your accounts safe.

Be Aware of Phishing

It sounds like the word, “fishing,” for a reason. Cybercrooks dangle some bait to see if you will bite. You might get an email from someone you don't know with an attachment that you were not expecting, or an urgent-sounding message telling you to enter your password to verify your identity. It might even be someone pretending to be someone you trust, like a family member or your boss. Take time to stop and think, does this make sense? Remember, if it smells like a fish, it's probably a phish.

Don't Share Personal Information

Imagine this: You set up online access for your bank or credit card account. The password you choose is the name of your favorite pet. One of your security questions is your mother's maiden name. Meanwhile on social media, all your relatives with that last name just liked your picture of Fluffy. To prying eyes, it's like you just hid the key under the door mat. Being careful about oversharing personal information means you aren't showing intruders the way in.

Top 10 Tips For Online Security

Here are some simple, effective steps you can take to defend yourself online. Fact sheets with these tips and more are available for download in the resources below.

  1. You are a target
    Realize that you are an attractive target to hackers. Don't ever say "It won't happen to me."
  2. Eight Characters is Not Enough
    Practice good password management. Use a strong mix of characters, and don't use the same password for multiple sites. Don't share your password with others, don't write it down, and definitely don't write it on a post-it note attached to your monitor.
  3. Lock It Up
    Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time – no matter how short – lock it up so no one can use it while you're gone. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock it up as well.
  4. Practice Safe Clicking
    Always be careful when clicking on attachments or links in email. If it's unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don't click on it. Double check the URL of the website the link takes you to: bad actors will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain.
  5. Beware Of Browsing
    Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust. Whether it's a friend's phone, a public computer, or a cafe's free Wi-Fi, your data could be copied or stolen.
  6. Back It Up
    Back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date.
  7. Physical Cyber Safety
    Be conscientious of what you plug in to your computer. Malware (software designed to damage your computer) can be spread through infected flash drives, external hard drives, and even smartphones.
  8. Share Less Sensitive Information
    Watch what you're sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a shocking amount of information – where you go to school, where you work, when you're on vacation – that could help them gain access to more valuable data.
  9. Cut Out The Middleman
    Offline, be wary of anyone attempting to gain information from you through manipulation. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, it's okay to say no. You can always call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any information.
  10. Stay On Top Of Your Account
    Be sure to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you've been compromised.

Personal Security Risk & Vulnerability Assessment

This Personal Security Risk and Vulnerability Assessment is designed to help you and your family assess your home and personal security risks; both IT and physical to better protect you and your family from cybercrime. By taking this assessment, a full report will be generated with recommendations to decrease these risks.

Topics addressed but not limited to include:

  • Household Desktop and Laptop Use
  • Safe Practices for Internet Usage
  • Securing Mobile Devices
  • Securing Wi-Fi

And much more

Get Started on Your Personal Assessment Today!

* All stored data is encrypted. This data is not used or shared to any sales/marketing companies. Deidentified data may be used for research, at no time will any personal data be shared or used for any purpose. When setting up your profile, it is recommended to enable Two-Factor Authentication. A request may be sent to the host company, SecurityStudio for your data to be removed at any time by sending an email to