Cybersecurity is a 24/7 thing, but each October it’s elevated during Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM). This emphasis is a collaboration of both government and the private sector to raise awareness of best security practices and help individuals and businesses mitigate their risk of a data breach.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month was first launched by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security back in 2004. That’s when the internet was still fairly young. Today, cybersecurity awareness is needed more than ever due to the increase in the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks.
In Q2 2022, global cyberattacks increased by 32% compared to the same period in 2021.
Hackers and large criminal organizations continue to optimize their activities, and it’s often a lack of good cyber hygiene that opens the door for them. Knowledge is power, and taking advantage of CSAM in October is the perfect opportunity to refresh employee cybersecurity training. This is also something that families can celebrate together and educate themselves on data privacy best practices.
Besides the much-needed emphasis on data privacy and security, Cybersecurity Awareness Month also means free resources! You barely even have to lift a finger to promote the month’s four key themes because the CSAM site gives you a whole toolkit of things you can use. (We’ll tell you how to get them below.)
What Are This Year’s CSAM Themes?
This year CSAM is using user behaviors as its themes. The overarching message of the month is “See Yourself in Cyber.”
This means that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility and there is something each person can do to be more secure. This goes for family members as well as companies. Each employee plays a part in an organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.
The four user behaviors being promoted to improve cybersecurity are:
- Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA is known to be between 76% to 100% effective at keeping out hackers trying to breach an account with a password.
- Using strong passwords & a password manager: Compromised passwords are the main cause of data breaches around the globe. Adopting two good password habits, such as the use of strong passwords and a password manager improves security greatly.
- Updating software: Vulnerabilities in software code are common. Hackers use them to plant ransomware, malware, and otherwise breach your system. Keeping your OS and software updated can ensure you have the latest patches for any vulnerabilities.
- Recognizing & reporting phishing: Phishing has been the most successful way for hackers to get users to “help them” infect systems and steal data. One wrong click on a fake email is all it takes. Phishing recognition and reporting procedures are an important piece of any employee security awareness training.
You can leverage Cybersecurity Awareness Month resources to increase home and work cybersecurity by emphasizing one user behavior each week in October. This keeps the training focused and it’s easier for people to retain the information when it’s one topic at a time.
Next, we’ll tell you where you can get tons of free resources to help you.
Where Can I Get Free Cybersecurity Month Resources?
The National Cybersecurity Alliance has a 2022 toolkit full of materials that you can use to promote CSAM. These resources can also be used by your business throughout the year to revisit these topics and keep employee security knowledge honed.
First, to get these resources, you will need to go here to sign up as a Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 Champion. For companies, you will get the option of adding your company’s name to a list of champions on the official website. That’s good PR you can use to promote your security focus to your clients.
The materials you’ll get are plentiful. Here is an overview of what you can expect.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 Guide
Get a PDF guide that you can use to plan your approach to promoting cybersecurity in October. It lays out all the weekly behavior themes and provides you with a list of messaging and activities that you can do.
You’ll also find tips on hosting your own CSAM events and engaging with the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
Tip Sheets & Infographics
Download tip sheets and infographics that you can use to promote each of the four user behaviors being highlighted to improve data security. There’s also one additional sheet on ransomware.
There are multiple other resources that can be leveraged to promote Cybersecurity Awareness Month:
- Social media posts and graphics
- Sample email to send employees
- A sample press release for your organization to use
- Logos and branding information for CSAM
- Video conference backgrounds
- Email Signature
- Sample articles to post on your website
Let’s Start October with a Cybersecurity Checkup!
What better time to schedule an annual cybersecurity checkup than the month that celebrates cybersecurity? Quantum Technologies can help your Sturgeon Bay area business with a full checkup and report on how you’re doing, and ways to improve your safeguards.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.