Cybersecurity Awareness Month has occurred every October since its inception in 2004. It was created to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats in the public and private sectors. The goal is to encourage people to work together to explore cybersecurity education and improve their cyber hygiene practices. If you own a business or just want to improve your personal cybersecurity in your home, the month of October is a great time to get started. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
The History of Cybersecurity Awareness Month
In 2004, the President and Congress established Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the month of October. A partnership was created between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) to create and share resources used to improve cybersecurity. Because 2023 is the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, CISA has developed a new program that outlines four key steps everyone can take to improve their online safety and cyber hygiene.
This Year’s Topics of Focus
While this year’s focus is on the four simple steps everyone can take to improve their cybersecurity, these tips should be followed every day of every month throughout the year:
- Use strong passwords or a password manager – Using a strong password is the best way to protect your data and devices. Each of your passwords should be unique and use a random sequence of upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. You should use a password manager to generate and save passwords for your online accounts and devices.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) – MFA will make it much harder for someone to hack your accounts or devices. You should enable two-factor or MFA on any website, account, or device that allows it, but particularly on email, social media, and financial accounts.
- Be aware of phishing attempts and report them – Stay on top of the latest trends in phishing emails, calls, and text messages. Do not ever provide personal information or passwords via email, text, or phone unless you have verified the identity of the person asking for the information and they have a valid reason for asking. Do not click on links or download or open attachments from unknown sources. Report phishing attempts to your employer, email provider, or the authorities.
- Keep up with necessary software security updates – Keep your software up to date to ensure it has the latest security patches and updates. Either set up automatic updates, or check regularly for updates to your operating systems, browsers, email clients, antivirus software, and other applications.
Improving Your Cybersecurity at Home
Talking to your family about cybersecurity can improve everyone’s awareness of maintaining good cyber hygiene and protecting their devices and personal, private information and data. Have a brief family meeting to go over cyber hygiene tips and the four steps listed above. You can also share this information with family and friends via email. Encourage them to visit staysafeonline.org for more tips as well as helpful resources.
Improving Cybersecurity at Work
You can help your colleagues or employees improve workplace cybersecurity by sending out an email about Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the four tips outlined above. Host a training session or virtual event to go over cyber hygiene, answer questions, and provide resources. Explain how to recognize and report phishing attempts, create strong passwords, manage passwords, and protect company and personal information and data. Consider sending out a weekly newsletter highlighting tips and activities and providing resources for downloading.
Working with Silverado Technologies, you can bolster your workplace cybersecurity from the ground up with our Security Awareness Training subscription.
Staying on Top of Cybersecurity Trends & Threats
By staying on top of the latest trends and threats to your online security, you can make sure you don’t fall victim to a new phishing or hacking attempt, malware, ransomware, or other types of data mining. You can follow the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on social media, sign up for their email newsletters, and explore resources at staysafeonline.org.
Protect Your Cybersecurity in Tucson, AZ
If you need assistance protecting your company’s cybersecurity in Tucson, AZ, contact our team at Silverado Technologies. We offer robust, comprehensive IT services to businesses in Arizona, and we can perform an IT security audit to identify weaknesses in your company’s IT security and infrastructure.
On October 19th, we’re hosting a Cyber Safe Symposium that can help you fortify your cybersecurity knowledge, network with other professionals, and hear from a knowledgeable keynote speaker from the Pima College Cyber Security Department. Register now before this event fills up!
We work with companies across industries to develop, implement, and manage secure technology and infrastructure. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (520) 903-1580 or contact us online.