October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In this article, we provide a preview of activities from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) as well as the theme for 2021. Meadows Bank encourages all to do their part in protecting data and #BeCyberSmart. To learn more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, please visit the NCSA web site at www.staysafeonline.org.
The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are impacted by the internet.
The overarching theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.
Throughout October, the National Cyber Security Alliance will focus on the following areas in our promotions and outreach. Partners are welcome to follow along with us but also encouraged to create their own areas of focus relevant to their organization:
October 1: Kick-off
The National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency invite you to celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 this October as we raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that all individuals and organizations have the information and tools they need to be safer and more secure online. “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
Week of October 4 (Week 1): Be Cyber Smart
As our lives have become increasingly dependent on technology, virtually all personal and business data is kept on internet-connected platforms, which can become a gold mine for bad actors. The first full week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight best security practices and focus on general cyber hygiene to keep your information safe. Own your role in cybersecurity by starting with the basics. Creating strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication, backing up your data, and updating your software are great places to start. This is a great way to Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart!
Week of October 11 (Week 2): Fight the Phish
Phishing attacks and scams have thrived since the COVID pandemic began in 2020 and today, phishing attacks account for more than 80 percent of reported security incidents. Week 2 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will stress the importance of being wary of emails, text messages or chat boxes that come from a stranger or someone you were not expecting. Think before you click on any suspicious emails, links or attachments and make sure to report any suspicious emails if you can!
Week of October 18 (Week 3): Explore. Experience. Share – (Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week)
Week 3 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight the Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week led by National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). This is a week-long campaign that inspires and promotes the exploration of cybersecurity careers. Whether it’s students, veterans, or those seeking a career change, the dynamic field of cybersecurity is rapidly growing and has something for everyone
Week of October 25 (Week 4): Cybersecurity First
Week 4 is all about making security a priority. For businesses, this means building security into products and processes. Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip staff with the tools they need to keep the organization safe. For individuals, keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind as you connect daily. Before purchasing a device or online product, do your research. When you set up a new device or app, consider your security and privacy settings and update default passwords. Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought.