Cyber security awareness month 2024

Stay informed, stay safe! This October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and CSA is here to shout about and proudly support organisations that want to keep safe online and protect their data.

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Whether you’re a seasoned security veteran or just starting to scratch the surface of safety management, this month (and page) has you covered. From bespoke resources to market-leading services – CSA can provide your organisation with the best value and support in cyber security success.

Now more than ever, it’s essential to educate employees on the seriousness of cyber security, and the impact it can have on your business.

What is national cyber security awareness month?

In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security established this month-long event to help raise awareness of cyber security, its significance throughout industries, and how organisations can protect themselves from potential cyber threats.

Throughout our day-to-day, technology can’t go unnoticed, and as our lives continue to welcome new tech into our lives – work for example – the possibility of threats finding their way onto your digital systems increases.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to be informed, take necessary precautions, and inject a strong security culture into your organisation. Let’s make this cyber security month one for the ages and encourage a safer cyber world for everyone!

Why is cyber security month important?

Did you know that typically 40 to 70% of your employees will engage in an attack and be identified as a cyber security risk?

Cyber Security Awareness Month is important because it doesn’t just spread the word on cyber security, it also teaches you how to mitigate threats in the first place and how to deal with them efficiently if issues arise.

There’s many resources across the CSA website that will maximise your knowledge; here are just a few, crucial, cyber security awareness topics that this month will elaborate on…

Promote safety in the digital environment

Security awareness topics covered throughout this month promptly promote healthy security practices among individuals, businesses and organisations.

With the internet now wrapped into our day-to-day activities, organisations should seek valuable information, applicable resources, and guidance to help protect their team against cyber threats. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month does just that; encourage individuals to take the correct steps in keeping safe online.

Protect organisation and individuals
from cyber threats

Cyber Security Month encourages organisations to take proactive steps in enhancing cyber security posture and protect their sensitive information across the entire business.

Acting as an opportunity to discuss cyber security best practices and the evolving nature of cyber threats, Cyber Security Month serves as a reminder that staying informed, you can better protect yourself in the digital age.

Stay up to date with the latest
cyber trends and threats

As technology continues to evolve and expand, cyber threats find new ways to invade your digital safe space. It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest trends and techniques used by cybercriminals.

Cyber Security Awareness Month keeps you informed, showcasing the latest news and resources from market-leading sources, so you stay in the loop on the latest threats and security tips.

Why do we need cyber security awareness month?

As cyber attacks become increasingly sophisticated, National Security Awareness Month is a beacon of comfort for those looking to catalyse a strong cybersecurity framework within their organisation and ensure their employees are always well-informed.

The event helps to raise awareness about the various types of cyber security awareness topics, such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. By understanding these threats, your organisation can implement appropriate security measures and train employees to recognise and respond to them effectively.

Furthermore, stressing the importance of security awareness topics for employees helps promote best practices for online safety, topics such as strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and secure browsing habits.

This knowledge empowers employees to become the first line of defence against cyber attacks, reducing the risk of data breaches and financial losses. Something you’d like to avoid, I’m sure.

Additionally, Cyber Security Month encourages businesses to review and update their cybersecurity policies and procedures, ensuring systems and networks are always strongly protected and prepared to respond to any security incidents that may occur.

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How to participate in national cyber security awareness month 2024

So you want to be part of Cyber Security Month? We don’t blame you, it’s an essential event for those committed to staying safe online and those who want to protect those valuable digital assets.

However, it’s not enough to just say you’re taking part, you’ve got to demonstrate that you mean real business when it comes to cyber security.

CSA has covered the crucial steps you need to implement for security awareness training to go well, but let’s highlight a few crucial factors that Cyber Security Awareness Month really want you to know about:

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The history of cyber security awareness month

Cyber Security Awareness Month is an annual international campaign held each October to promote the importance of online safety and security.

A fun fact for you, the origins of this initiative can be traced back to the United States, where it was first observed in 1987 under the name “National Computer Security Awareness Day.”

Over the years, the event has evolved and expanded, both in scope and geographical reach. Notably in 2004, it was officially designated as “National Cyber Security Awareness Month”, reflecting the growing recognition of cyber threats and the need for comprehensive security measures.

Today, Cyber Security Awareness Month is observed in numerous countries around the world, with governments, businesses, and non-profit organisations collaborating to raise awareness and educate the public on best practices for protecting against cyber attacks. Covering a wide range of topics, from security of connected devices to even the responsible use of social media.

We actually have a blog covering all the ongoings of last year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month right here – so if you’re keen to see what’s come before, be sure to check it out!

Security Awareness Training and Testing is one of the best investments we made this year. We are able to keep all of our staff, including new starters, trained and up-to-date on all areas of cyber security.

Hiten Patel

Head of IT at Royal Academy of Dance

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Front of Royal Academy of Dance building

Frequently asked questions

Cyber Awareness Month is a global initiative, celebrated annually in October, aimed at promoting cybersecurity education and awareness, emphasising the importance of online safety and responsible digital practices.

Many countries participate in Cyber Awareness Month by hosting events, launching campaigns, and providing resources to help individuals and organisations strengthen their cybersecurity measures – like us!

The nature of this initiative stresses the importance of cyber threats and the need for coordinated efforts to enhance digital resilience worldwide.

To increase people’s awareness of cybersecurity, it’s important to provide clear and accessible information on common cyber threats, such as phishing, malware, and data breaches.

Organisations can run awareness campaigns through various channels, including employee training, social media, or even public events. It’s also crucial to emphasise the importance of good cyber hygiene practices, such as using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and being cautious when sharing personal information online.

By educating individuals and businesses on the risks and preventative measures, we can empower them to take an active role in protecting themselves and their digital assets from cyber threats.

UK Cyber Week is an annual event that promotes cyber security awareness and best practices across the United Kingdom. It is organised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence and security organisation.

The week-long event features a range of activities, including webinars, workshops, and public awareness campaigns, all aimed at educating organisations about the importance of cyber security.

The goal is to help UK industries strengthen their defences against cyber threats, such as hacking, malware, and data breaches, ultimately fostering a culture of cyber resilience across the country.

The 5 C’s of cyber security are crucial considerations for any organisation looking to protect its digital assets. Let’s break these down, so you know what practices might need tinkering within your organisation:

  • Change: Regularly update systems and software to address evolving threats.
  • Continuity: Ensures your organisation’s operations can continue in the event of a breach.
  • Cost: Ensuring security measures balance protection and budget.
  • Compliance: Your cyber security practices follow the mandatory industry regulations.
  • Coverage: Incident response and data backup are essential for minimising the impact of cyber attacks.

 

By addressing these 5 C’s, your organisation can build a robust cyber security strategy and safeguard its digital infrastructure.

Update your password policies

Woman typing on laptop in dark

This month is the perfect reminder for you to review those out-of-date passwords and update them across your online profiles and spaces.

Creating and regularly updating your passwords so that they’re strong, unique and unbreachable (even for AI) means there’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to keeping your data safe.

To achieve this, consider using a strong password generator and manager to solidify a robust digital lock around your data. Sadly, Password12345 is not going to cut it…

Policy management

Can you prove your employees have read the fine print? Accepted and understood your organisation’s policies? Most organisations cannot.

Ensure that your policies are accessible to employees, up-to-date, and compliant with relevant regulations and your industry standards. Additionally, policy training, tracking, and reporting can further mitigate risks in the future as it becomes something employees are consciously aware of at work.

Dark web monitoring

Your information might be out there in the wild, exposed on the dark web! But there are precautions you can put in place to keep that risk at a minimum.

With a Dark Web Monitoring Service in place, you can attain real-time threat intelligence that alerts your organisation of any stolen data and provides an early warning of information leakage and actionable alerts.

Educate your employees

Woman looking at laptop in dark room

It goes without saying at this point, but an initiative that helps educate employees on the importance of online safety is crucial in today’s digital landscape. It’s one of the main reasons Cyber Security Awareness Month exists today.

By promoting best practices and identifying potential threats to employees, you empower teams to become naturally aware of cyber attacks and how to prevent them. And, as more education is handed out, you begin to foster a strong culture of digital responsibility within your organisation.

IT security training

Understanding and strengthening network IT security posture against cyber-attacks is an absolute must, but it can be quite a hassle to sort on your own. That’s where a robust, managed IT security training service can help.

A managed IT security training service can provide you and your team with a comprehensive learning experience that covers a sweeping range of cyber security topics, all year round, ensuring the importance of IT security is understood and stays top of mind.

GDPR training

Understanding cyber security isn’t just useful in preventing attacks, it’s also essential if you want to prove to authoritative figures that you harness a safe working environment for your team.

GDPR awareness training for employees is a legal obligation in the UK and EU; employees need to be made aware of the risks posed by any potential data breach to an organisation.

Scan for vulnerabilities

Man holding hand up to face with mug in right hand while looking at monitor in dark

It’s one thing to ensure everything is secure. It’s even better when you continuously look out for your network, always prepared to combat vulnerabilities that may open the way to a potential attack.

Adopting an always-on approach to your network allows you to scan for gaps in your network, deploy effective and low-cost ways of taking control, and highlight invisible system vulnerabilities before they become a problem.

Vulnerability scanning

As we’ve strongly hinted earlier, staying on top of network and infrastructure vulnerabilities will make your work life all the more easy.

By using an external IP and vulnerability scanning service, you get an automated scanning service that can scan open ports for gaps in your network and deploy effective and low-cost ways of taking control of your vulnerability exposure. All of that, plus the highlighting of invisible system vulnerabilities before they become a problem, so you’re always one step ahead of the threat.

Penetration testing

No matter the shape, size or industry sector your organisation resides, conducting real-time simulations of a cyber attack will demonstrate to your team the seriousness of cyber threats whilst also educating them on how to avoid them in the first place.

Automated penetration testing comes with an extensive catalogue of features that allows for complete control over your cyber security operations. From man-in-the-middle attacks to cracking password hashes, penetration testing is the perfect pilot service to get you aware and reacting to cyber threats efficiently.