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Five tips for staying on top of cybersecurity at your business

June 26, 2018

By: Jim Ostendorf for The Bellingham Business Journal | The Bellingham Business Journal
Jim Ostendorff - Talent Acquisition Manager
Jim Ostendorff - Cybersecurity Officer

Nearly three years ago, I started a cybersecurity program at Peoples Bank. The bank was looking to take its security measures to the next level, and I jumped at the chance to lead this effort — even though, I must admit, it was a daunting assignment at the time.

After nine years working as an IT support services manager, I knew firsthand that cybersecurity is a part of everything we do at Peoples Bank. Our IT department is well-versed in what is going on in the industry and keeps our systems patched and current.

That strong foundation helped me succeed from day one and continues to help me stay ahead in this ever-changing field. Here, in my opinion, are five important aspects for keeping your company — and customers — safe.

Make security relatable.

Cybersecurity isn’t always the most riveting topic. Yet it’s vital for cybersecurity experts to communicate effectively because we need all hands on deck to keep our systems safe.

Each month, I produce an entertaining, easily digestible employee newsletter.

I try to convey key points about security in a way that people can remember.

For example, I once compared Monarch and Viceroy butterflies to demonstrate how phishing emails work. These two creatures may look the same at first glance, but upon closer inspection, they are very different.

Likewise, it’s important that employees can distinguish between phishing and authentic emails based on clues such as requests for urgent action, unfamiliar links or small typos or grammatical errors.

When I get comments on my newsletter it shows people are reading it, and, most importantly, are learning how to keep our systems safe. Read more...