How to Be Your Own Security Expert

January is a great time to start a new habit. In fact, research shows that around 40-45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, with various goals like saving money, losing weight, or traveling more. Many people use the turn of the year as a kickoff to making material changes to their lives, but what many fail to do is look to some less tangible goals of starting habits that may be much more rewarding.

The average cost of a data breach in 2017 was $3.62 million. While this may not be a relevant figure to you if you’re not an enterprise or even a small-business owner, it does show that data is more than a file on your computer — it’s a valuable commodity. Hence, by securing it, you’re saving yourself money and a migraine, and of course, from a future breach.

It’s understandable, though, that many are hesitant to seek cybersecurity education because they believe that it will be a substantial undertaking including learning code, developing a program, and spending an exorbitant amount of money. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a computer science genius, or a rich one at that, to get started.

  1. Read up

Thankfully, we live in an era where virtually anything and everything is online. From books, to articles, and even how-tos, learning has never been easier. Pursue the basics of IT first (which we have a great, eBook on that you can download for free) and know what the vocabulary is so that when you’re reading manuals or articles, you can comprehend without a hitch.

  1. Find reputable services

Not all security features or services are made equal. Look for compliance standards and certifications to make sure that the service you want to start using is a legitimate security provider. While security should be a priority, you want to make sure to take enough time to gather reviews, recommendations, and critiques to make sure that your security system will be the best fit for you.

While services can range from free to pricey, a large price tag does not equate to high quality. In fact, some of our favorite services out there are free including Mozilla’s Observatory, Cloudbric the website security service, and MyDiamo the open source database encryption solution.

  1. Keep up with the latest research

Security is always evolving. Whether it’s connected cars and smart homes or even factory automation through the web environment, security should not be limited to just your computer, your website, or your phone. To start thinking out of the box, read up on the latest news in cybersecurity. Some of our favorite news platforms out there are SC Magazine, Dark Reading, and IT Pro Portal.

  1. Ask questions

The best students are the ones that ask questions. Whether it’s to your co-worker about what they’ve been doing in the realm of security, or to customer support for any security service you’re using, it’s never wrong to ask questions to learn more. While reading up on the latest news or even an academic paper is a great feat in itself, you’ll find that those in the field often have more direct and practical advice when it comes to questions about security.

Following these steps will put you on track to being more in control of your web and data security. However, it would be a mistake to think that there is an “end to the road.” The reality is that even the experts, like CISOs and CSOs, are still following these steps each day to ensure that they continue to grasp what is currently happening in the field of security.

To find out more and to keep “on-track,” follow our blog for more issues, trends, and thoughts on security.