Don't Be Like Matt

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 2:00pm

Maintain Your CyberSecurity Protocol During the Holidays

        The holiday season is upon us, kicking off with the opportunity to overstuff ourselves on Thanksgiving dinner

come Thursday. Many of us will eat enough to fuel a long winter’s nap as the visions of parades, football or holiday

baking shows dance in our heads. It’s the time of year we spend with family and friends, kick off the shoes, loosen

the belt and kick back a bit after a long year of hard work. Relaxing is good for the soul, however we need to stay

on guard when it comes to cybersecurity.

        We live and work in a digital world making it increasingly difficult to separate ourselves from the integration.

Please keep in mind, that it’s Christmas for hackers, too and (as the linked article suggests) cybersecurity

professionals agree this time of the year typically brings a rise in the level of attacks.  If I sound confident that we

could all be compromised – I am. I sit writing this blog today while awaiting a service tech to clean a virus from my

state-issued laptop.

        Even after recently completing the cybersecurity training that was so diligently sent from the NCDIT team,

a virus found its way into my computer. However, thanks to that training, I was smart enough to realize something

wasn’t right. I was quick to alert my concerns to my chain of command and the NCDIT team was equally as quick to

quarantine my account and minimize the opportunity for spreading throughout the system. Kudos to the lightning-fast

response from everyone involved.

        So here I am, in computer purgatory, unable to communicate electronically with people in the adjacent offices,

much less the outside world.  I do think (as I wait to be deemed clean) that writing down my misfortune to share with

the rest of you will be time well-spent. Don’t be like Matt. As state employees, we are on the front line of keeping our

computer system safe from intrusion, so stay alert to suspicious emails and other activity.

        Black Friday is upon us and many people will be looking forward to starting the shopping season and benefitting

from the sale prices. If you’re one of the growing many who shop online – be extra careful since you’re providing

sensitive information about yourself and your accounts. Whether you’re at work or at home, keep your computers

safe this year . . . and have happy holidays this year!


Matt Jenkins, Communications Officer