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Cyber Security Awareness Month tips from Cyber Talk October 2021

October 1st officially marks the beginning of Cyber Security Awareness Month. This means of marking the calendar came about in 2003, and is designed to help organizations and individuals raise awareness about the importance of cyber security. 

A recent survey conducted by the professional services group KPMG Canada shows that only 38% of organizations feel that cyber security is “deeply embedded” into all areas of their business. Roughly the same percentage stated “very confident” in their abilities to detect and respond to a cyber incident. 

Most organizations are not adequately prepared for cyber attacks. As the threat landscape has shifted and attack sophistication has increased, organizations have struggled to keep up. Cyber security maturity is a journey.

High-level awareness month tips

  • Cyber security starts at the top. Business leaders must be on-board for cyber security programs -from email security deployment to awareness initiatives- to succeed. Help your C-suite understand why the organization needs to take an aggressive stance when it comes to cyber security.
  • Cyber security requires budget. The Chief Financial Officer should participate in the cyber security conversation. Equipping the person in this role with insights into cyber security and an understanding of business risk is critical. 
  • Cyber security programs can fail due to distractions. Teams can accidentally go down rabbit holes that do not require investigation. See our Short Guide to Why Cyber Security Programs can Fail for details. 
  • A global shortage of highly skilled cyber security talent contributes to cyber challenges. When there are too few staff members supporting security or under-skilled staff members supporting security, teams miss threats, leading to unfortunate cyber security outcomes. Solve this challenge with these strategies. 

Staying safe in a connected world

Technology touches nearly every aspect of our lives. It affects how we communicate, sell products, provide services and beyond. This year’s awareness month themes include:

  • Following basic cyber hygiene best practices; from strong passwords to backing up data.
  • Recognition and reporting around phishing threats; whether these arrive via email, text or another communication modality.
  • Providing employees with empowering tools to help them stay safe online.
  • Elevating cyber security as a business priority and focusing on “secure by design” principles. 

Cyber Security Awareness Month aims to highlight the vulnerabilities inherent in the technologies that we use and to encourage everyone to take responsibility in preventing cyber threats.

Looking to raise awareness through your social media feeds? Check out our Tweetable Cyber Security Awareness Month quotes. Just click and Tweet. 

Honor Cyber Security Awareness Month. Discuss how employees can genuinely impact cyber and business outcomes. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth Click To Tweet
Want to outsmart the hackers? Get smart about cyber security. bit.ly/3iq18Mu #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth #CyberTalk Click To Tweet
Humans are the weakest link. Educate your end users to stop threats. #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth #CyberTalk Click To Tweet

If you work in the field of Information Security, it’s cyber security awareness month every month. Help your organization’s employees help you; provide them with cyber security awareness training. For specific awareness training ideas, see CISA’s website. Also, be sure to sign up for the Cyber Talk newsletter.

PS. As distinguished computer sciences professor Gene Spafford once said, “The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in blocks of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards.” 

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