Held every October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online while increasing the resilience of the Nation against cyber threats.
Now in its 19th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. SUNY College of Optometry is proud to support this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s overarching theme for 2022 is: “See Yourself in Cyber”.
This year’s theme 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 and ensure all individuals and organizations make smart decisions whether on the job, at home or at school – now and in the future.
Cybersecurity has become one of the biggest hot topics both inside and outside of technology circles over the last two years. From securing learning devices due to a rise in digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, to coping with the fallout of high-profile breaches of national infrastructure such as the Colonial Pipeline, there is a seemingly endless newscycle dedicated to cybersecurity mishaps and concerns. And with this onslaught of negative news, it can be easy for everyday individuals to become overwhelmed and to feel powerless in the face of the “insurmountable” threats posed by cybersecurity. But in actuality nothing could be further from the truth.
With all of the jargon that is typically thrown around in relation to cybersecurity there is a longstanding misperception that cybersecurity is beyond everyday people and that it should be left to the professionals. Moreover, there is a prevailing sense among the public that breaches are simply a fact of life and that we should just learn to deal with them. But this just isn’t true. In fact, everyday people have a huge role to play in cybersecurity threat prevention, detection, and remediation. For example, according to IBM, 95% of breaches have human error as a main cause. Therefore, everyday day technology users are very much the first line of defense when it comes to thwarting cybercrime. Unfortunately though, many individuals are not aware of some of the best practices for boosting cybersecurity and how easy they are to use.
This year, the Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s main focal areas revolve around four key fundamental cybersecurity best practices that everyday people can implement today to enhance their own cybersecurity and create a more secure world for everyone:
Recognize and Report Phishing
Recognizing and reporting phishing – still one of the primary threat actions used by cybercriminals today.
Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
Understanding the benefits of using a password manager and dispelling existing myths around password manager security and ease of use.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Enabling multi-factor authentication on personal devices and business networks.
Update Your Software
Installing updates on a regular basis and turning on automated updates.