Being Cyber Aware

Rhode Island has a cyber community that I am particularly proud of, and to celebrate their dedication to securing our network defenses, I toured several businesses, non-profit organizations and academic institutions to highlight their great work in cybersecurity. For the first stop of my #LangevinCybersecurity Tour, I spoke at a continuing education cybersecurity seminar hosted by the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA) at the Amica Mutual Insurance Company headquarters where I was joined by Francesca Spidalieri, the Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership for the Pell Center at Salve Regina University.

As evidenced by the great turnout of accountants, cybersecurity issues are a growing concern to those in the local business community. No one questions that advancements in technology have enabled us to connect further and faster than at any other point in history. But while these benefits are clear, with this massive connectivity also significantly increases the risk of our information being attacked by malicious actors.

In order to empower accountants to protect themselves and their clients, I highlighted some recommended best practices from cybersecurity experts. Chief among them is enabling automatic updates and installing them when they’re available, which is just about the easiest and most effective thing you can do to protect yourself. Just like changing the oil in your car to keep it running well, you need to do regular maintenance on the software on your phone and computer.

Whether you are a large organization or a small business, there are fantastic resources available to help you learn more, such as the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative. I hope those who attended the seminar, and Rhode Islanders in general, will also view my office as a resource. Just as I am committed to working in Congress to strengthen the nation’s critical infrastructure, I am also committed to ensuring best cyber practices are well-understood and implemented by my constituents. Thankfully, RISCPA members will soon be spreading the word as well!