Cyber Security Awareness Month – it’s for life, not just for October!

4th October 2019


Simon Whitburn
MD Cyber Solutions

Cyber Security Awareness month kicked off this week and it serves as a great reminder that each and every one of us has a role to play in the security ecosystem. While technology is powerful and becoming increasingly sophisticated at protecting us from hackers (or indeed, ourselves), ultimately vulnerabilities exist and we’re often the cause.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is the campaign in the US and is a collaborative effort between government and industry. This year with the theme, ‘Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.’, the Department of Homeland Security is focusing on citizen privacy, consumer devices and ecommerce security.

European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) is an EU awareness campaign run by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (EINSA) and the European Commission DG Connect – keep an eye out for reports, events and activities being published by them! The theme for the European campaign is joint EU awareness on NIS (Network and Information Systems) topics.

As data breaches, ransomware attacks and state-sponsored threats continue to hit headlines, the importance of keeping our data safe is more apparent than ever. It is often too easy to put cyber threats in a box with all your other digital housekeeping and forget the basics. As recent attacks on hospitals and utility companies have proven though, the digital and physical worlds are more connected than they ever have been. No longer can we save our cyber hygiene checks for a rainy day or indeed the month of October; precautions and awareness need to be embedded into day-to-day life. Every email we click, every device we turn on or service we use has a connection to the internet that could be the chink in our armor during an attack.

Cyber Security Awareness Month is a fantastic initiative – but let’s take those learnings with us to build our resilience for the entire year (and beyond!).