Cybersecurity at Work and at Home

Technology constantly changes, and with that comes the need to focus on cybersecurity for our devices and software. This defense is vital to the operation of Prairie State.

“As shown by the media, hacks and data breaches occur at firms of all sizes. Often these incidents make front page news and cause irreparable damage to reputations,” said Garren Thurau, Senior Network Administrator. “The assets we protect from hackers allow us to produce power and mine coal more efficiently. If something was to deter these assets, we could stop producing power, and it could shut us down.”

To avoid these issues, Prairie State has world-class technology in place. Some of these virtual safeguards include next generation firewalls; email and web filters; intrusion protection systems; anti-virus protection; two-factor authentication; and network access controls.

Thurau also commented on the importance of protecting cyber assets at home. “At work, you have a team of specialists trained to protect your data and keep you safe. At home, you are that team. Most home networks do not have a firewall, and most routers have been set up with default passwords. Your home machine likely runs with administrative rights, allowing you to install potentially unwanted software.”

At home, there are steps you can take to improve your safety online. Create an administrative account to be used only when needed, keep your Windows Defender updated, and schedule nightly scans when your computer is not in use. Be cautious when browsing, and always assume you could be giving out information that could harm your computer or identity. Updating passwords is another helpful line of defense.