Celebrating Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

In 2004, President Bush and Congress declared October “Cybersecurity Awareness Month.” 2004 was a much different time and the event centered around advice like “Update your antivirus software twice a year like you do with your smoke detector batteries.” for U.S. residents. Nowadays, cybersecurity is a much more complex issue and Cybersecurity Awareness Month has gone global. While it still features practical advice for consumers, it has branched into a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) discussing education, cybercrime, critical infrastructure, and the importance of cybersecurity for any size business.

As this year marks the event’s 20th anniversary celebration, Cybersecurity Awareness Month will begin with a webinar—20 Years of Cybersecurity Awareness Month Kick-off—hosted by the NCA on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The event will join together elected officials, government leaders and industry executives to examine how far the cybersecurity industry has come and will also take a look at where it needs to go.

For previous celebrations, there was an annual theme. This year, however, there is a new, evergreen theme – Secure Our World. Secure Our World, which was designed by the a new awareness campaign from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), aims to broadly promote cybersecurity tips and best practices year-round for all individuals.

Throughout the month of October, CISA and NCA will work together to promote four key cybersecurity behaviors:

  • Create strong passwords and use a password manager
  • Turn on multi factor authentication
  • Recognize and report phishing
  • Update your software

“Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a critical reminder that effective cybersecurity isn’t solely about building higher walls against external threats. It’s equally about understanding and managing the data you already hold within those walls. Illegal and orphaned data are prime examples of internal vulnerabilities that often go overlooked,” said Carl D’Halluin, CTO, Datadobi. “This month-long focus is not just an opportunity but a necessity for organizations to deepen their commitment to employing the necessary methodologies and technologies that enable effective internal data governance and oversight. A proactive, inside-out approach to cybersecurity has never been more crucial.”

“Email is the battleground where some of the most sophisticated social engineering attacks, like spear-phishing and whaling, are waged. The FBI has reported $50 billion—with a b—in losses due to business email compromise (BEC). And due to that inundation, it’s easy for some to look at email as an old problem,” added Seth Blank, CTO, Valimail. “This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, don’t just scroll past the warnings –take them to heart. Beef up your email security, or get ready for a world of hurt. The ball is in your court, and it’s ticking.”

rAVe [PUBS] will be posting about Cybersecurity Awareness Month throughout October. Click here to read more stories about the themed month.