"Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart."
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year’s theme is:
“Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online.
From 2009-2018, NCSAM’s theme was “Our Shared Responsibility,” the role we all have, as individuals or as organizational leaders, to secure the digital assets under our control.
In 2019, “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT” – encouraged personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, security best practices, protection against common cyber threats and cybercriminals.
This year’s theme expands our responsibility to protect our part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.
Each week has a different focus:
Week 1: If you Connect It, Protect It
All Internet-connected devices have potential vulnerabilities.
Cybersecurity starts with YOU and is everyone’s responsibility. There are currently an estimated 4.8 billion Internet users—over 62% of the world’s population! This number will only grow, making the need to “Protect It” more important than ever.
In order to prevent data breaches, AllConnected recommends adopting a “zero trust” policy for all incoming messages and internet use.
Individuals and organizations can take steps to secure Internet-connected devices for personal and professional use.
This year has seen major disruptions in the way we work, learn, and socialize, driving many of these activities online. With our homes, schools, and business more connected than ever, it’s vital to “Protect It” and #BeCyberSmart.
Cybercriminals have used the COVID isolation as an opportunity to exploit potential weaknesses in corporate communications, increasing phishing and ransomware.
Learn more: Keeping Remote Workers Secure and Productive
Week 3: Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
The healthcare industry relies increasingly on Internet-connected devices and solutions to improve patient care, organizational efficiency, speed of crisis response, and much more. The emergence of telemedicine, digital health records, online medical devices, patient wellness apps, and an increasing amount of third parties entering the health supply chain has created many benefits. However, it has also exposed the industry to vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
Universal Health Services was hit by ransomware in late September, affecting many of its more than 400 health care facilities across the United States and Britain. Clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine were held up by a similar ransomware attack in early October.
Healthcare is frequently targeted because their data requires a variety of personally identifiable information (PII) that can be used by hackers.
The accounting professions have been hit for the same reason. In response, the IRS has required all tax preparers to take specific IT security steps to insure the integrity of their client data. Healthcare providers should adopt similar measures if they have not already.
Week 4: The Future of Connected Devices
The final week of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month examines the future of Internet-connected devices. Technological innovations, such as 5G and the “internet of things,” might impact consumers’ and businesses’ online experiences (e.g. faster speeds and data transmission, and larger attack surfaces for cybercriminals).
Among the recommendations include: