MATTOON, Ill. — Consolidated Communications is joining the National Cybersecurity Alliance in a month-long effort to help consumers and businesses avoid online scams, phishing, ransomware, and more. Each October, the National Cybersecurity Council teams up with members of the technology community to raise people’s awareness of good online safety practices. This year especially, as our online lives have taken on even greater importance in staying connected to our work, school, and communities, Consolidated reminds consumers and businesses to stay vigilant. Consolidated Communications has accessible educational materials, easy-to-implement tips, and additional resources available on to help protect everything people connect. Consolidated also offers cybersecurity assessments and webinars for businesses. 

“At Consolidated, we have a team of experienced professionals working to keep our networks safe each day,” said Aaron Reason, director of network security for Consolidated Communications. “But even with all our safety protocols, every user is just two network jumps from danger. Everyone has a crucial role in keeping their information safe, from learning to recognize a phishing email, to strengthening passwords and using two-factor authentication everywhere it’s available.”  

While many companies have made great strides toward better security practices, no one is immune from risk. Robust practices and policies certainly help, but a 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report found that many employees are misinformed about risks, and fail to recognize their personal responsibility in cybersecurity. For example, 43% of surveyed employees were not aware that clicking a link or opening an attachment in a suspicious email is likely to lead to a malware infection.

“The No. 1cybersecurity risk is people,” Reason added. “The best security system in the world is only as strong as the weakest link. For most organizations, that weak link is one person clicking on something they shouldn’t have. In network security, we see it all the time, most ransomware or unauthorized access can be traced to a phishing email.” 

“Within days of coronavirus lockdowns, we saw network traffic go up, and we also saw scammers’ efforts skyrocket,” said Tom White, chief technology officer at Consolidated Communications. “We have robust, rigorous security practices and standards in place, along with comprehensive controls to identify and help protect our customers against security threats. While Consolidated Communications is diligent in securing the information of our customers, we are also committed to educating consumers and businesses on how to protect themselves.”