Get Cyber Smart: Unpacking Cybersecurity Awareness Month & Essential Safety Tips

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Technology keeps racing ahead, and we all need to stay alert and take steps to keep our sensitive info safe from cyber threats. Cybersecurity might feel like a huge, confusing puzzle, but it’s not just a job for the tech whizzes. Everyone has a part to play in keeping both personal and work data secure.

October is (almost!) here to remind us that it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month – a perfect time to brush up on ways to keep our data locked down tight. Getting the basics right can make a big difference to your network’s security.

What Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM) pops up every October, spreading the word about staying safe online. It’s all about empowering people and organisations with the know-how and tools to defend against cyber attackers.

Starting in the U.S., it quickly caught on worldwide. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are at the forefront, bringing together government bodies, industry leaders, and cyber experts to raise awareness about cyber risks and how to fight back.

This Year’s Theme

Celebrating its 20th year, CAM is focusing on how far we’ve come in cybersecurity, as well as looking to the journey ahead. This year, it’s all about nailing four key cybersecurity best practices:

– Enabling multi-factor authentication

– Using strong passwords and a password manager

– Keeping software updated

– Recognising and reporting phishing attempts

Let’s dive a bit deeper into these cyber hygiene must-dos.

Essential Cyber Hygiene: 4 Keys to a Strong Defence

Just like we use good hygiene, Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the must-do practices to keep our online world safe. They lay the groundwork for a solid cybersecurity defense for both individuals and organizations.

Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Adding Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to your logins is like having a super-strong deadbolt on your doors. Even if hackers get your password, MFA makes it super tough for them to get in. Microsoft tells us that MFA can block a whopping 99.9% of attempted account attacks. So it’s a no-brainer to use it on every login.

Strong Passwords & a Password Manager

Passwords are still a big deal for keeping online accounts safe. Remind your team to go for strong, unique passwords for each account and steer clear of easy picks like birthdays or names. Setting up rules for password strength (think a mix of characters, numbers, and symbols) gives an extra layer of defence.

Updating Software

Old software is a gift for cybercriminals. Keeping operating systems, apps, and firmware up to date makes sure you’ve got the latest security patches. Making updates automatic ensures they’re done quickly and consistently. Tools like Intune make managing updates across devices a breeze, boosting security.

Recognising and Reporting Phishing

Phishing attacks are a classic move for cyber thieves. Make sure your team knows how to spot shady emails, links, and attachments. Remind them to double-check senders’ email addresses and never dish out sensitive info unless they’re 100% sure of the recipient.

And don’t forget about text and social media message scams!

Reporting any suspected phishing helps everyone steer clear and lets the IT team tackle the threat head-on.

We Can Help You Put the Best Cyber Hygiene Practices in Place

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a golden chance to refocus on the importance of cybersecurity and prioritise top-notch cyber hygiene practices. Building a culture of cybersecurity awareness within your team is a game-changer.

Need a hand making sure you’re on the right track for a safer future?

Our expert team is ready to guide you through and helping your organisation stand tall and secure.

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