October is here, Halloween candy is in the break room and “Pumpkin Spice” is being added to anything and everything. October also means National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) here in the United States (the European CyberSecMonth, or ECSM, is the EU’s annual awareness campaign that takes place each October across Europe as well). This is something the security team at Micro Focus takes very seriously.
NCSAM is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity. It was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. This is the 15th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. With the number of internet users and connected devices increasing exponentially, Micro Focus Security believes it is hugely important to raise awareness of cyber security.
More connected than ever before
Now more than ever, we lead internet-connected, digital lives. We work, learn and play online. Even when we are not directly connected to the internet, our critical infrastructure – the vast, worldwide connection of computers, data and websites supporting our everyday lives through financial transactions, transportation systems, healthcare records, emergency response systems, personal communications and more – impacts everyone, reminds the NCSAM website.
NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident, says the site.
More specifically, there is even stronger focus on consumers and their cyber safety. Everyone at every age is a consumer, therefore, this year each theme will focus on the consumer and his/her needs regarding cybersecurity and safety. NCSAM 2018 also marks the 8th anniversary of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ campaign. Each year, NCSAM highlights the overall message of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ and the capstone concepts of the campaign, like “Keep a Clean Machine,” “Protect Your Personal Information,” “Connect with Care,” “Be Web Wise,” “Be a Good Online Citizen,” “Own Your Online Presence,” and “Lock Down Your Login.”
Enterprises need to be prepared, too
But no matter how much attention (or budget) is lavished on cybersecurity, executives need to understand that getting hacked isn’t a matter of if but rather when. This is the new normal in cybersecurity, and it changes the approach to preparation and risk management. The key to enterprise digital transformation is to secure and enable the relationships between identities, applications, and data, regardless of how or where things are deployed.
There are many ways that individuals can get involved during National Cyber Security Awareness Month, including:
- Follow the Micro Focus Security Twitter handle
- Use #CyberAware in all your social media messages during the month of October
- Join the weekly #ChatSTC Twitter chats! @STOPTHNKCONNECT hosts them every Thursday in October corresponding to the month’s themes
- Practice good online safety habits with these tips and advice
Enterprises need to practice good cybersecurity hygiene, too. Here are some ways organizations can beef up their security posture:
- Include application security and vulnerability assessment as part of a software development program
- Protect and encrypt sensitive data by using a data-centric approach to data security
- Get a look at shifting trends in cyber defense operations in the State of Security Operations 2018 Report
- Deploy multi-factor authentication on mobile platforms
- Consolidate the management of all enterprise endpoints
Of course, the best way for businesses to practice cybersecurity awareness and take security seriously is to manage, govern and secure information; detect and respond to data breaches and govern identity and access.