October 1st marks the commencement of National Cyber Security Awareness month, a 30-day campaign designed to help leaders communicate the importance of cyber security measures to colleagues and friends. The campaign is in its 17th year, and supported by CISA, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The annual number of cyber attacks in the US is growing. In 2019, the FBI received 467,361 cyber security related complaints; an increase of 115,424 over the prior year. No one is immune to cyber attacks. For organizations, the average cost of a cyber attack is beyond four million dollars, and may be as high as eight million dollars.

Cyber security awareness is critical in thwarting the hackers. This year, CISA is emphasizing that everyone has a role to play in safeguarding against cyber attacks. The overarching campaign theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

The week-by-week themes are as follows:

  • Week 1: “If you can connect it, protect it”
  • Week 2: How can individuals and organizations secure multi-purpose devices?
  • Week 3: Protecting the healthcare industry (IoMT)
  • Week 4: The future of internet-connected devices (5G)

To empower leaders in delivering the cyber security message, CISA offers 12 different cyber security tips sheets that can be shared with others. Below is an example of the sheet titled “5 Ways to Be Cyber Secure At Work.”

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Image courtesy of CISA.

On the CISA website, leaders can also find dozens of cyber security awareness focused social media posts that are ready-to-go. Copy, paste and post. Check out this eye-popping and informative Twitter option:

The first three months of 2020 saw a 20% increase in cyber fraud as cybercriminals took advantage of the global pandemic. Visit cisa.gov/ncsam to learn how to #BeCyberSmart

Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us that cyber security can’t stand to exist as an afterthought. Cyber security measures must be integrated into every level of organizational and individual online activity. When it comes to interacting in cyber space everyone needs to #BeCyberSmart.

For more information on Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit CISA’s website.