During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, SecurID will highlight insights and best practices to help all businesses and users do their part to protect themselves, secure remote work, and “#BeCyberSmart.”
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 kicks off at perhaps the most challenging time in the history for cybersecurity. As the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) points out in promoting this annual October event, we now live in a technology-dependent world in which “virtually all personal and business data is kept on internet-connected platforms.” That dependence has only grown over the last year, with the coronavirus pandemic rapidly accelerating digital transformation. No matter who you live or work, your information is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The good news is that we can all do something about it, by being aware of threats and protecting ourselves against them. That’s what this month is about, and SecurID will be highlighting different aspects of cybersecurity over the next several weeks to help raise awareness and share helpful information.
You don’t have to be a cybersecurity pro to do your part to protect sensitive digital information. You just have to “be cyber smart,” as the theme for the opening week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month suggests. During this week, the focus is on cybersecurity best practices and general cyber hygiene to keep data safe.
One of the cybersecurity best practices NCSA cites is using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect access to information online. MFA is one of the key capabilities SecurID provides to keep our customers’ applications, data and other digital resources safe—and it has become especially important now that so many people are working from home or other places outside the traditional corporate security perimeter.
MFA is a critical piece of cybersecurity for every kind of organization, from large enterprises securing a work-from-anywhere workforce, to consumer companies that have been entrusted with their customers’ personal data, credit card information and other sensitive material. It is one of the requirements set forth in the recent US Executive Order on Cybersecurity, which calls on government agencies to adopt MFA to help protect the data they maintain and make identity a priority to secure public agencies. The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has also recognized MFA’s importance, recently adding single-factor authentication—which requires only one factor of authentication, such as a password—to its list of bad cybersecurity practices. Unfortunately, many organizations are still only using passwords to secure their virtual private networks (VPNs), creating what could be a major vulnerability.
In addition to using MFA, NCSA recommends backing up data and updating software as good examples of being cyber smart. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at other ways to improve cybersecurity, starting with “Fight the Phish”—a set of best practices for avoiding phishing attacks. Other themes will follow, from pursuing careers in cybersecurity to having a “cybersecurity first” mindset in everything people and organizations do.
Although Cybersecurity Awareness Month started in the US, it’s now a global event. No matter where you are, cybersecurity tends to encounter some of the same challenges—and frequently, many cybersecurity best practices repeat from country to country. This year, Singapore’s International Cyber Week is exploring the theme “Living with COVID19— Reimagining digital security and risk opportunities.” New Zealand, Australia and other countries also have local events planned for Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
We look forward to sharing more information about cybersecurity awareness with you throughout October. Meanwhile, learn more about how NCSA and CISA, the organizations that teamed up to roll out the first Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the US. You can also join in the conversation online by following #BeCyberSmart and by following SecurID on Twitter and LinkedIn.