Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Beyond: 4 Ways to Be Cyber-Safe
As cybersecurity professionals, we sometimes speak in ways that mystify others. Our acronyms, like APT (advance persistent threat), CVE (common vulnerabilities and exposures) — and in my role, GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) are terms that can be unfamiliar. Yet, to become a more secure and cyber-resilient society, where all of us are better protected, we need everyone in the fight. We need employees throughout companies, and even our friends and family, to understand what they can do personally to become more cyber-aware and more cyber-safe.
And here’s the good news: There are simple yet effective things that all of us can do.
Simple Cybersecurity Steps You Can Take
The 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month is now history but it inspired me to share some cybersecurity best practices without resorting to cybersecurity jargon. There’s never been a more important time than right now to talk about protecting our businesses, families, and friends from internet risks. The FBI recorded more than 800,000 U.S. victims of cybercrime during 2022. This includes crimes like personal data breaches, identity theft, and a long list of cyber-enabled scams. And victims come from every age group according to FBI data (chart, below).
This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme was “Secure Our World.” The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) collaborated to create this campaign, forming a public-private partnership to advocate for conversations with employees, customers, and constituents about how to stay safe online.
To be cyber-safe, CISA and NCA recommend four key behaviors, which are actionable and effective ways to reduce risk:
- Create strong passwords and use a password manager
- Turn on multifactor authentication
- Recognize and report phishing
- Update your software
These steps are also quite simple and can help protect each of us from cybercrime. That’s why I’ve created a video to walk you through each of these steps, which you can watch, below:
As a cybersecurity professional at BlackBerry, I typically talk about reducing cyber risk at mid-sized companies, large enterprises, and even within government agencies. After all, our company helps secure all of these organizations with our AI-based cybersecurity platforms and security services.
However, I’m just as passionate about helping each individual become more cyber-secure. Please watch the video and share this blog. If you still have questions afterward, I invite you to check out the resources listed below, which are intended to improve your situational awareness and raise the baseline of defenses for members of the general public:
- Secure Our World | CISA
- Password Managers - National Cybersecurity Alliance (staysafeonline.org)
- Multi-factor authentication | Cyber.gov.au
- Software Updates - National Cybersecurity Alliance (staysafeonline.org)
If each of us takes steps to increase our personal cybersecurity, we can get closer to living out this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme, “Secure Our World."