Now in its 19th year, October 1st marks the start of Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is designed to elevate cyber security awareness around the world. The month represents a partnership between government and private industry that empowers security leaders and others to protect digital domains and to prevent digital forms of crime.
For organizations, Cyber Security Awareness Month serves as an opportunity to take a more comprehensive approach in establishing and maintaining a cyber security program. During Cyber Security Awareness Month, IT leaders elevate existing security programs, and place special focus on employee education, offering activities and resources that inform, entertain and inspire.
This year’s theme
To generate maximum impact, Cyber Security Awareness Month is co-led by the US National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), who select an overarching theme, setting the tone for a given year’s cyber security awareness activities and campaigns.
This year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month theme is “It’s Easy to Stay Safe Online – See Yourself in Cyber”, referring to the notion that every organization and person has a role to play in keeping their place of work safe and consequently, keeping the larger ecosystem safe.
The theme is also intended to highlight the fact that the field of cyber security needs additional skilled, diverse workers in order to meet the cyber challenges of tomorrow. Could cyber security be a great career for someone who you know, but who is unaware of the benefits of a career in the field?
Limiting security vulnerabilities requires going beyond owning the right technology. It requires education, conversation and discussions that inform and inspire employees to safeguard data, devices and home networks. By making cyber security a top employee priority, you can ensure business continuity and safeguard opportunities for business growth.
Provide employees with the key info that they need to meet contemporary security compliance expectations. Possible weekly themes include:
- Enabling multi-factor authentication
- Using strong passwords and a password manager
- Updating software on a regular basis
- Recognizing and reporting phishing
Developing cyber security awareness initiatives does not necessarily require financial investment or resources that professionals lack access to. Get management buy-in, rally your team and share cyber security educational awareness materials via email, Slack, newsletters, social media or other easy-to-access and wide-reaching channels.
Include information about the ‘why’ behind cyber security and cyber security awareness, and the benefits of employee participation – both for the organization and for employees themselves.
CyberTalk.org’s resources can help you effectively achieve higher levels of cyber security awareness across your organization. See the following:
- Cyber Security Awareness Month – Solutions Brief
- Phishing Awareness Fact Sheet – Fact Sheet
- How to create a security awareness program that employees will enjoy – Article
- 10 Cyber Security Awareness Tips – Solutions Brief
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And of course, cyber security awareness education is not restricted to a single month. Rather, it should take place all year long. Get cyber security insights delivered directly to your inbox every week when you sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.