October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Ever since 2003, the month of October has been recognized as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the USA and elsewhere across the globe. This effort, initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, aims to raise awareness on the importance of cybersecurity across our Nation. Its main goal is to ensure each American is adequately equipped with the information and resources they need to secure their online environments.
Cybersecurity Statistics At a Glance
2020 and 2021 have been the milestone years for cybercriminals who have taken advantage of the vulnerabilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing adoption of remote work to carry out sophisticated attacks with far-reaching ramifications. The historic increase in cybercrime ranges from phishing, DDoS Attacks, identity theft, social engineering, ransomware attacks, and more. Below are some of the crucial cybersecurity statistics and trends for 2021:
- The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million as of 2020.
- Nearly 95% of cybersecurity breaches can be attributed to human error.
- Data breaches exposed a whopping 36 billion records in the first half of 2020.
- A ransomware attack on businesses occurs every 14 seconds by the end of 2019 and every 11 seconds by 2021.
- 94% of malware is delivered by email, and 48% of malicious email attachments are office
- It is estimated that the total number of DDoS attacks worldwide will be 15.4 million by 2023
- IoT devices can have about 5,200 attacks per month.
Cyber Security Awareness Month Theme
CSAM has been leveraging an evergreen theme dubbed “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” to motivate people and companies to be proactive in protecting their cyberspaces. The theme stresses the need for personal accountability and proactive steps to bolster cybersecurity.
Cyber Security Awareness Month Schedule
Since 2011, the National Cyber Security Alliance and DHS came up with the concept of weekly cyber security awareness themes to cover all four weeks of October. This idea aims to make it easier for other partners and groups to align and articulate various aspects and themes of cybersecurity education to deliver a cohesive message. Typical themes covered during the entire month include education, cybercrime, law enforcement, mobility, critical infrastructure, and cybersecurity for small and medium-sized businesses. The following is a general schedule of October Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Week 1: Simple steps for online safety
Week 1 focuses on sharing information that can prepare digital users for cyber threats. The week’s goal is to equip digital users with knowledge and tips on being safe and secure while using the internet.
Week 2: Cyber from the break room to board room
Week two is dedicated to educating employees and workforces on the best cybersecurity practices. With the revelation that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are a result of human error, employees form the first line of defense against most forms of attacks targeting organizations today.
Week 3: Recognizing and combating cybercrime
Cybercrime is getting sophisticated with each passing day. Unfortunately, most companies are not proactively looking for cyber breaches but only wait until after they detect a “smoke” before reacting. Week three is dedicated to promoting awareness of the different types of cyber threats and how to be proactive in implementing adequate measures to curb vulnerabilities and potential attacks.
Week 4: Building resilience in critical systems
With the realization that cybersecurity is now an integral part of all aspects of our daily lives, more needs to be done to ensure crucial systems are up and running in a secure environment. Week 4 is dedicated to highlighting methods that digital users can use to keep the crucial infrastructure secure.
October 2021: Cybersecurity Awareness Month Resources
During this year’s cybersecurity awareness month, organizations are encouraged to use the hashtag #BeCyberSmart in October to raise cybersecurity awareness. Additionally, you can leverage the CISA’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month Resources to equip your stakeholders with critical knowledge and skills that help minimize cybersecurity risks while they are online. These materials are free and can be customized to suit your specific needs.
360 Smart Networks’ Tips to Protect Your Environment
360 Smart Networks provides IT services and IT support for engineering firms, architects, and construction firms in Metro Atlanta and Charlotte. As part of the celebration of Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021, 360 Smart Networks has outlined some effective methods to secure your online accounts safe:
- Use strong passwords: The ideal passwords should be long, random, and unique. Avoid using personal details that can be guessed easily, including your birthday, dog’s name, model of your car, your child’s name, etc.
- Use two-factor authentication: 2FA or multifactor authentication provides a second layer of protection that goes a long way towards protecting your account. Multifactor authentication requires that anyone trying to access your account enter a second form of identification before getting in. Multifactor authentication can be a code generated by an app, a biometric ID such as a fingerprint, or a physical security key that can be inserted into your device.
- Use a VPN: Ensure you use a virtual private network or VPN every time you connect to the internet using a Wi-Fi network you don’t own. VPN encrypts your internet traffic so that no third parties can snoop through your data.
- Protect against phishing attacks: Phishing attacks are one of the leading types of cybercrimes impacting several organizations and individuals. Part of securing your online presence is being smart with what you click, especially with your emails. Phishing emails contain malicious links that masquerade as secure websites while hoping to trick you into giving them your credentials. The rule of thumb is never to click links in emails or text messages unless you are sure you can trust the sources.
Get Professional Help to Protect Your IT Environments
360 Smart Networks provides comprehensive managed cyber security solutions designed to extend your IT team’s capacity to protect your critical computing and network infrastructure. Our security solutions are easy to implement, affordable, and do not require massive upfront investments. We understand small and big businesses in Metro Atlanta and Charlotte face challenges finding, retaining, and training skilled IT security staff. 360 Smart Networks provides access to expert security professionals that help monitor your systems and network around the clock at a fraction of the cost you would spend hiring an entire in-house team.
Some of the managed cybersecurity services we provide include 4×7 performance and availability monitoring, identity and access management (IAM), managed cloud security, threat intelligence, and advisory services, security awareness training, managed detection and response, managed endpoint security, compliance management, and more. If you have further questions regarding our services or need to request a quote, contact us today.