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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Cyberattacks can take many forms, including malware, phishing, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks.

In today's digital world, cybersecurity is more important than ever before. We rely on our connected devices for work/school, financial transactions, and entertainment. With this dependency comes more potential avenues for cyber attackers to gain access to sensitive information and use it for nefarious purposes.

To help individuals and organizations secure their information, The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US Department of Homeland Security offers tools, tips, and resources. There are many things you can do to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Here are a few tips:

  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication. Your passwords should be strong and unique, and you should enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when logging in to your accounts.
  • Be careful about what links you click on. Phishing emails and websites are designed to trick you into clicking on malicious links or entering your personal information. Be careful about what links you click on, especially in emails from unknown senders.
  • Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help protect your devices from known vulnerabilities. Make sure to install updates as soon as they are available.
  • Be careful about what apps you install. Only install apps from trusted sources, such as the official app store for your device. Before installing an app, read the reviews and permissions carefully.
  • Use a security solution. A security solution can help protect your devices from malware and other cyber threats. Make sure to choose a reputable security solution and keep it up to date.

In addition to the tips above, businesses also need to take steps to protect their data and systems from cyberattacks. Here are a few tips for businesses:

  • Have a cybersecurity plan in place. Your cybersecurity plan should identify your assets, risks, and controls. It should also outline your procedures for responding to cyberattacks.
  • Train your employees on cybersecurity awareness. Your employees are your first line of defense against cyberattacks. Make sure they are trained on how to identify and report suspicious activity.
  • Implement security controls. There are a variety of security controls that businesses can implement to protect their data and systems. These controls include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption.
  • Monitor your systems for suspicious activity. It is important to monitor your systems for suspicious activity so that you can identify and respond to cyberattacks quickly.

For more tips and resources, check out www.cisa.gov.

screen capture of the CISA website