October is here, and with it comes the spookiest time of the year.
No, we won’t be discussing witches, gremlins, or ghouls. Today we turn our attention to one of the things that really keeps us up at night: cyber-attacks. That’s right, it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the month-long event, from the history of Cybersecurity Awareness to this year’s weekly themes. We’ll also provide some tips on how you can take action to help ensure your business is as cyber-secure as possible.
WHAT IS NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH?
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an annual event that takes place every October, with 2022 marking its 19th anniversary. The goal of the month-long campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and to provide resources and tips that businesses and individuals can use to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH?
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month dates back to 2004 when the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) launched a national awareness campaign in response to the growing threat of cyber-attacks.
In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took over the coordination of the event. Two years later, NCSAM became a formal partnership between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) which continues to this day.
WHY IS NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH HELD IN OCTOBER?
Cybersecurity Awareness Month was originally held in February but was later moved to October to align with National Crime Prevention Month. As a bonus, this change also extended the event by three whole days!
WHAT IS THE THEME OF CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH 2022?
The overarching campaign theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 is “See Yourself in Cyber.”
The idea behind this theme is to look at one big area of importance within Cybersecurity: people. No matter how many safeguards are in place at an organization, cybersecurity can be heavily influenced by individuals making smart decisions in their respective roles, whether at home, in the office, or on the go.
4 KEY ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY
Since we’re focused on people, it’s important to look at some of the things that are within the control of an individual. Here are four easy ways you can make cybersecurity an everyday habit:
- Enable multi-factor authentication
- Implement strong passwords (or utilize a password manager)
- Think before you click to avoid phishing scams
- Keep your software up to date
As the month continues, we’ll expand upon each of these online behaviors in much greater detail, providing specific tips and resources that you can use to better protect yourself and your business.
WHAT ELSE CAN MY BUSINESS DO?
The CISA and NCA are encouraging businesses to “see yourself as part of the solution.” This means promoting a culture of cybersecurity within your organization by taking the necessary steps to ensure your employees are properly trained and aware of the dangers that exist. As personal and work become more intertwined with hybrid workforces and personal devices, promoting a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace is crucial.
While the role of individuals in an organization can heavily influence cybersecurity outcomes, it is important to remember that the threats today are too great, too complex, and too elusive to rely on people and smart decision-making alone.
No amount of awareness training will keep your business 100% safe from cybercrime. That’s why it’s important to ensure your business also has the protection of a complete cyber stack, including EDR, Core Antivirus, Email Security, Real-time Security Monitoring, and Behavior Analytics.
IT’S TIME TO GET INVOLVED
Want to get involved in Cybersecurity Awareness Month? There are a number of great ways for you and your business to participate.
- Download the Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 Toolkit to learn more.
- Become an NCA Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion to receive free resources.
- Request a CISA speaker to discuss cybersecurity at your next company event.
- Use the hashtags #BeCyberSmart and #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth to spread the word.
- Request a comprehensive Cybersecurity Assessment from the experts at Whizkids.
This October, make a commitment to protect your most critical business asset: your data. With Whizkids on your side, you’ll have the proper defenses in place to prevent and mitigate any and all outside threats. To get started, reach out to one of our friendly and highly trained cybersecurity experts to discuss the best course of action for your business.
And remember, stop back later in the month for more cybersecurity tips and resources that you can use to shore up your business’ online defenses. In the meantime, stay safe out there!