This year marks the 18th year of observing cybersecurity awareness month – and initiative co-led by the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA). The goal is to build awareness about the importance of staying safe and secure online. The effort has spanned all industries, schools, governments, nonprofits, and individuals from around the world.
Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.
Announced in 2020, the evergreen theme “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity. Weekly themes for this year’s awareness program are:
- Week 1: Be Cyber Smart
- Week 2: Fight the Phish
- Week 3: Explore. Experience. Share.
- Week 4: Cybersecurity First
Data Breach due to Lax Cybersecurity
It is crucial to understand why cybersecurity is paramount for any individual or organization. In August this year, a 21-year-old hacker broke into T-Mobile servers and stole personal records of more than 53 million customers. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal he said, “Their security is awful.”
T-Mobile is the second-largest mobile carrier in the United States, and this is the third major customer data leak they’ve disclosed in the past two years.
According to IBM, the average cost of a 2020 data breach was $3.86 million and took an average of 280 days to identify and contain. Investing time and effort to consistently practice good cyber hygiene is critical to protecting your privacy and finances. Educating your family and household members is important because cybersecurity has become an integral part of everyone’s daily life.
How to stay vigilant
- Stay alert and aware of data breach related news. If you are a customer of a victim organization, immediately change your passwords and PINs (if applicable) even if there a suspected breach. Do not wait to be notified by the organization.
- If you are offered free credit monitoring due to a breach, sign up for it.
- Visit HaveIBeenPwned to determine if your email or phone has been compromised in a data breach.
- To protect yourself in the cyberspace, refer to our following tech blogs:
Rethinking Password Security
Identity Thefts Spike amid Pandemic
Phishing Alert: Beware of Browser Extensions
For more cyber safety tips, visit our Tech Blog.