Hard to believe though it may be, we are now in the month of October. That is correct, Halloween, Bonfire Night and – whisper it – Christmas are all fast-approaching. On a professional level, however, the arrival of October marks the start of Cyber security awareness month 2023. Here we take a closer look at this annual campaign which is now entering its 20th year.
What is cyber security awareness month?
It is a public awareness campaign which runs throughout the month of October. Launched in 2004 by the US Department of Homeland Security, the campaign has an objective to raise cyber awareness. Discussions are held on cyber threats at both national and international level, with cyber security best practices a key topic covered.
In the US this year, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is running ‘Secure Our World’, a new awareness programme. This is designed to encourage everybody to take daily actions to protect themselves when online or using connected devices. Individuals, families and small to medium-sized businesses are urged to adopt four critical actions:
- Use strong passwords
- Adopt Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Recognise phishing attempts and report them
- Ensure all software is up to date
In Europe, social engineering is the main point of focus. The motto ‘be smarter than a hacker’ has been adopted along with the hashtag, #ECSM2023. The European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) Campaign will cover everything from phishing emails to impersonation scams.
How can you take part?
You could consider organising an event or participating in one, such as any listed on the European Cyber Security Month activities web page. Consider assessing your own levels of cyber resilience too, by using various tools available online. You will find one on the ECSM website plus CRIBB released something similar last month for organisations: The CRIBB Cyber Security Checklist.
Above all else, now is the perfect time to learn all about cyber security. There are a huge amount of resources available, including our own website. You can also find opportunities to take part with CISA, plus sign up to a series of virtual CISA webinars that are running every Tuesday in October.
Cyber awareness is crucial
Cyber security awareness month 2023 is a great campaign for everyone involved in cyber security. More than that, though, it is a fantastic entry point for those unversed in online security. The simple fact is that if you use the internet, then you are a potential victim for cyber-criminals.