As we step into October, This October month marks the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month and has been a crucial event for the past two decades, focusing on promoting digital safety. In a world where cyberattacks are daily news, cybersecurity has evolved into an even more critical and complex field than it was twenty years ago.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was initiated in 2004 under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance. Since then, it has grown significantly, reaching consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises, and educational institutions. Its primary goal is to enhance online safety for all. Here are the four key behaviors for cybersecurity:

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication
  • Using strong passwords and a password manager
  • Updating software
  • Recognizing and reporting phishing
What Organizations Can Do

Engage Leadership: The journey towards better cybersecurity starts at the top. Persuade organizational leaders about the criticality of cybersecurity by presenting tangible data on potential financial losses due to cyber threats. When leaders recognize the financial risks, they are more likely to prioritize cybersecurity improvements.

Initiate Onboarding Cybersecurity Training: Embed cybersecurity training into the onboarding process for new employees. This early education not only strengthens your organization's security posture but also instills a cybersecurity-conscious culture.

Frequent Employee Training: Instead of sporadic training sessions, conduct regular cybersecurity training. Quarterly or even monthly sessions may be necessary, especially for organizations handling sensitive data. This approach keeps employees vigilant against evolving threats.

Implement Continuous Evaluations: Similar to performance reviews, perform ongoing cybersecurity evaluations. Regular assessments identify weak points in systems, networks, and employee practices. Continual evaluations help maintain a heightened awareness of cybersecurity within the organization.

Maintain Open Communication: Cybersecurity can be intimidating. Encourage open and positive communication about security matters. Share informative articles about the latest threats, offer reminders of best practices, and recognize and reward employees who contribute to a safer digital environment.

While these practices are fundamental, it's essential to go beyond the basics.

First, prioritizing visibility is paramount. Attackers thrive in environments where resources are neglected and under-protected. Knowing your network inside out, including shadow IT and VPN connections, is vital. Additionally, understanding communication patterns between assets is equally important.

Second, move beyond periodic penetration tests and embrace continuous assessment. Cyber threats evolve rapidly, and waiting for scheduled assessments can be detrimental. Real-time monitoring and immediate risk-based decisions are imperative in the fight against cyberattacks.

Lastly, Select the right security tools for your organization. Avoid deploying isolated solutions that don't work seamlessly together. Look for a cybersecurity platform that integrates various security solutions and supports third-party integrations. Eliminate unnecessary security tools to streamline your stack.

Let’s Be cyber wise Year Around

As we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let's remember that cybersecurity is a year-round commitment. Cybercriminals don't take breaks, and neither should we. Together, as a global community, we can build a culture of cyber defenders, protecting our digital world from compromise.