October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM), presented by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and this year marks its 20th anniversary. It’s the time of year when everyone, businesses and individuals alike, are encouraged to protect their digital assets and privacy and learn new tips for protecting themselves from emerging threats. And by leveraging these tips and the various initiatives during CSAM, businesses and individuals can significantly improve their security posture.
Let’s learn more about this event and what it can do for you.
What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
CSAM is a time to highlight cybersecurity and the dangers of careless internet use.
During CSAM, governments, businesses, and other organizations host a variety of events and activities to promote cybersecurity awareness, such as:
- Seminars and webinars: These events provide participants with an opportunity to learn about cybersecurity best practices from experts in the field. Topics covered may include password security, phishing prevention, and data protection.
- Training workshops: These workshops teach participants specific cybersecurity skills, such as how to use security tools and software.
- Public awareness campaigns: These campaigns use social media, print and broadcast media, and other channels to educate the public about cybersecurity threats and how to stay safe online.
- Contests and giveaways: These activities are often used to engage the public and encourage them to learn more about cybersecurity.
This year’s theme, "Secure Our World," emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity for everyone, regardless of their role in society. The goal is to educate people on how to protect themselves and their organizations from cyberthreats, and to promote a culture of cybersecurity awareness.
How can my business take advantage of Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
Businesses can take advantage of the many resources released during CSAM that they can use to raise cybersecurity awareness among their teams
Here are some resources offered during CSAM 2023 that your business can leverage to improve your cybersecurity posture:
The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report
As the name suggests, this report provides data on individuals’ and businesses’ attitudes about and behaviors around cybersecurity, and what they are doing (and not doing) about matters regarding their cybersecurity posture.
This information, while broad, can give you a good idea of how your employees or customers view cybersecurity. For example, if a large portion of the population is unaware of a serious cyberthreat, or has incorrect information about it, you can then determine if your workforce also falls into this category, and remedy the situation before any damage is done. All in all, it is a good starting point for setting your cybersecurity policy and its goals for the coming year.
To download the report, you’ll have to provide some basic information about yourself and your organization on the NCA website.
Secure Our World Tip Sheets
During CSAM, CISA releases new guidance for cybersecurity best practices. This comes in the form of new tip sheets that cover several key aspects of cybersecurity. The topics include advice on creating passwords and implementing multifactor authentication, as well as information on how to spot and prevent modern phishing attacks.
The tip sheets are short and straightforward, and are intended to be used for quick reference rather than a primary source of guidance. They are also ideal for hanging up on a bulletin board or other public space to help maintain awareness among employees.
You can find the tip sheets on the CISA website, and can download them for free with no obligation. The sheets are available in multiple languages.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 Resources and Partner Toolkit
And also during CSAM, CISA provides a collection of resources specifically for businesses. These resources not only help businesses raise awareness among employees, but also helps them demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity. This free toolkit includes:
- A PDF guide to CSAM
- A sample email to promote CSAM to your employees
- A sample press release and social media resources to announce your participation in CSAM to the public
- A 101-style presentation you can use to educate your stakeholders and customers about CSAM
- A branded slide deck template you can use to create your own presentations
Need even more cybersecurity resources for your business? Download our free eBook, Cybersecurity Best Practices: Your Credentials Have Been Compromised — Now What?