October isn't just about falling leaves and pumpkin spice; it's also Cybersecurity Awareness Month, established in 2004 and dedicated to raising awareness about the critical importance of cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) understands the pressing need for businesses, regardless of size, to strengthen their digital defenses against ever-evolving cyber threats. In recognition of the 20th year, CISA announced the Secure Our World cybersecurity awareness program, aiming at both individuals as well as small to medium-sized businesses. The focus is on four critical actions to take to improve cybersecurity.
“Secure Our World is the theme for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month and will remain the enduring theme for future awareness month campaigns,” CISA announced.
Secure Our World is Tailored for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs)
Recognizing the unique challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses, CISA's campaign tailors its guidance to suit the needs of businesses with limited resources. It acknowledges that robust cybersecurity practices are not exclusive to large corporations but are essential for businesses of all sizes.
Did you know that a majority of small and medium-sized businesses that suffer a cyberattack often close as a result? Recovering financially from a cyber-attack can be an uphill battle that leaves businesses struggling to regain their stability.
CISA recommends four simple steps you can take to make your business significantly more secure from online dangers. Secure your business. Secure Our World.
Four Simple Ways to Stay Safe Online
As part of this awareness-raising initiative, CISA is encouraging small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), individuals, and families to use strong passwords, to turn on multi-factor authentication, to be wary of unsolicited messages and report them, and to always keep their software updated.
1. Use Strong Passwords
Create strong and distinctive passwords for every online account. Effective passwords are lengthy, randomized, and unique, and incorporate all four types of characters (uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols).
Consider using a password manager to keep track of complex passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
2. Turn on MFA
You can't rely on just a password to safeguard your online accounts. Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) significantly reduces the risk of being hacked. Enable MFA on all your online accounts that offer it, especially email, social media and financial accounts.
3. Recognize and Report Phishing
Be cautious of emails, messages, or calls that request personal information or urge you to click on suspicious links. Verify the legitimacy of requests before responding or clicking and educate yourself on common phishing tactics. Report phishing attempts and delete the message.
Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices. Share this knowledge with friends, family, and colleagues to create a culture of cybersecurity awareness.
4. Update Software
Ensure that your operating system, antivirus software, and other applications are up to date with the latest security patches. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. Regularly check for updates if automatic updates are not available.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 Resources
As part of their commitment to cybersecurity awareness, CISA has joined forces with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) to offer businesses and individuals resources and messaging on staying safe online. This collaboration includes a range of valuable materials such as guides, infographics, templates, and graphic resources, all designed to empower users with the knowledge they need to protect themselves.
These materials are free and available to share with your community!
Secure Our World
In the dynamic landscape of online business, cybersecurity is not a luxury; it's a necessity. CISA's Secure Our World campaign acts as a guiding light for organizations, providing them with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complexity of cybersecurity. By embracing the principles and tactics highlighted in the campaign, businesses and individuals can strengthen their security measures, foster adaptability, and thrive in the era of technology. Take the initiative today to safeguard your business and pave the path towards a resilient and digitally empowered tomorrow.
Teknologize is a SOC 2 certified, Professional Technology Services company with clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have offices located in:
- Tri-Cities, Washington 509.396.6640
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