Protected Voices: Patching, Firewalls, and Anti-Virus Software

Protected Voices: Patching, Firewalls, and Anti-Virus Software


Hello, I’m Henry, a special agent with the
FBI. If you’re working for a political campaign,
it’s critical that you protect your campaign’s network environment. In this video we’ll cover three specific
ways to keep your network safe: software patches, anti-virus software, and firewalls. Patching is the installation of software updates
on computers, routers, and other devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices like
wireless printers, cameras and even thermostats. A patch is issued by the manufacturer to fix
known vulnerabilities—and quickly applying patches is critical. The longer you delay applying a patch, the
longer criminals have to threaten your operations. If your systems are not patched, that’s
like leaving all of your sensitive campaign documents in an unlocked car accessible to
anyone willing to check if the door is open. You can install patches manually, via a regularly
scheduled task. Or you can set up your systems to automatically
install patches whenever the manufacturer releases them. It’s worth noting that sometimes, implementing
a patch can open new vulnerabilities in your systems, so it’s important to monitor patching
activity to make sure it’s done correctly. If you can, take an image of your servers
before you install the patches. Have a good rollback plan in case you find
significant problems with the patch deployment. Another tool for protecting your network is
the use of anti-virus software. This tool continuously scans your systems
looking for malicious programs such as a virus or worm. Anti-virus programs are not perfect, but they
are good at identifying and quarantining known malware. Your anti-virus software needs regular updates
to identify the most recent kinds of malware. It’s considered a best practice to set up
your anti-virus software to update automatically—that’s faster, easier, and less problematic than
manually installing updates. Even better is network-monitoring technology
installed at your router level. This will monitor all traffic on your network,
and can identify potential malware and threats that anti-virus software sometimes misses. The last tool we want to address is a firewall. A firewall is a set of rules that block or
allow connections to your environment. Firewalls shield your computer or network
from malicious or unnecessary network traffic. You can configure your firewall to block data
from certain locations or applications while still allowing relevant and necessary traffic
to pass through. As stated by the Department of Homeland Security,
“Firewalls primarily help protect against malicious traffic, not against malicious programs,
and will not protect you if you accidently install malware on your computer.” If you’re protecting a single computer,
you’ll probably use a software-based firewall, which may even come as part of your operating
system software. If you’re protecting a network of computers,
you probably use a hardware-based firewall. For example, some routers come with built-in
firewall protection. You can adjust your firewall settings to limit
inbound and outbound traffic, to block people from accessing your computers, and to block
suspicious activity on your network. No matter what kind of firewall your campaign
chooses, you’ll have to spend some time adjusting your firewall settings. Make sure you enable regular firewall updates,
preferably automatic updates. Even if you set up your firewall perfectly,
it’s not guaranteed that your computers won’t be attacked or infected, because no
single tool can give you perfect protection. Ideally, you’re constantly monitoring your
environment for malware and anomalies and can remove infected devices as soon as they’re
infected. By regularly patching your software, using
anti-virus software, and using a firewall, you now have multiple layers of protection. This doesn’t mean your campaign’s computers
will be safe from every type of threat, but it is a solid starting point in enhancing
your campaign’s cybersecurity. Remember your voice matters, so protect it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *