With the beginning of October, government and industry partners have kicked off Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) lead the annual awareness campaign, whose theme this year is “See Yourself in Cyber.”
Since 2004, the U.S. president and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, helping individuals protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more commonplace.
In this year’s presidential proclamation, President Joe Biden said, “Cyberattacks affect our day-to-day lives, our economy, and our national security. By destroying, corrupting, or stealing information from our computer systems and networks, they can impact electric grids and fuel pipelines, hospitals and police departments, businesses and schools, and many other critical services that Americans trust and rely on every day.”
Biden added, “Government cannot meet our cyber resilience goals alone. The private sector owns and operates much of our nation’s critical infrastructure, and my administration is committed to partnering with private industry to keep the public safe.”
See Yourself in Cyber
According to CISA, this year’s campaign theme—“See Yourself in Cyber”—demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, ultimately, it’s really all about people. This October will focus on the “people” part of cybersecurity, providing information and resources to help educate CISA partners and the public, and ensure all individuals and organizations make smart decisions whether on the job, at home, or at school—now and in the future.
“To build a more resilient nation, everyone—from K through Gray—has a role to play, which is why our theme for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month is ‘See Yourself in Cyber,'” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “This October, we are taking this message directly to the American people because whether you’re a network defender or anyone with an internet connection, we all have a role to play in strengthening the cybersecurity of our nation.”
Throughout October, CISA and NCA will highlight key action steps that everyone should take:
- Think Before You Click: Recognize and Report Phishing: If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.
- Update Your Software: Don’t delay. If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
- Use Strong Passwords: Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A passwords manager will encrypt passwords, securing them for you.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: You need more than a password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.
In the leadup to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NCA released “Oh Behave! The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2022.” Polling 3,000 individuals across the United States, the U.K., and Canada, the research examined cybersecurity behaviors, attitudes, and trends. Key takeaways and the full report are available here.