National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Spotlights the Role of Individuals in Stopping Attacks

During the month of October, SonicWall will offer tips on what each person can do to help secure their homes, families and organizations from cybercrime.

If you were to poll a group of individuals at random about whether they have a role in cybersecurity, you’d probably get answers like, “No, I’m an attorney,” or “Actually, I work in education.” That’s because many people imagine cybersecurity in terms of solutions, brands or organizations.

But cybersecurity reaches far beyond what we consider the “cybersecurity industry.” It’s a goal, and the more of us who work toward it, the greater chance we all have of being successful. That’s why, this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, SonicWall is joining the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to encourage you to “See Yourself in Cyber” by offering tips, best practices and more.

“We’ve all come to understand that sound protection includes people as the most important pillar of a sound cybersecurity strategy,” said SonicWall Executive Vice President and CMO Geoff Blaine. “An organization cannot be secure until the entire workforce is engaged in reducing cyber risks. Each member of the group has the power to harm or help, since each one has access to information and systems, handles sensitive data, and makes decisions every day that could maintain, erode or strengthen the human ‘attack surface’ of the organization.”

As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions, SonicWall’s experts will spend the next month exploring ways to help organizations and individuals protect their information and secure their systems and devices. We’ll explore several topics in depth:

  • Think Before You Click
    If a link looks a little off, it could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.
  • Update Your Software
    If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
  • Use Strong Passwords
    Passwords should be long, unique and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
    Protecting your online accounts requires more than just passwords. Enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.

For anyone who doubts one person can make a difference in securing against cyberattacks, consider this:

  • 95% of cybersecurity incidents occur due to human error[1]
  • 91% of cyberattacks start with someone opening a phishing email[2]
  • 64% of people are still using a password exposed in one breach for other accounts[3]
  • 58% of businesses reported a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack in which an employee was successfully tricked, and sent or attempted to send funds to an attacker. [4]

Important steps can be taken to strengthen cybersecurity at the industry level, as well. By putting operational collaboration into practice, working together to share information in real time, and reducing risk and building resilience from the start, we can work together to protect our critical infrastructure and the systems we rely on every day.

And for individuals looking to play an even bigger role in the outcome of America’s security future, there is an opportunity to See Yourself as a cybersecurity employee. An estimated 714,548 cybersecurity jobs are currently unfilled, compared with 1,091,575 individuals currently employed in cybersecurity[5] — in other words, for every three people you know who work in cybersecurity, there are two positions open. As we move toward building a more cybersecurity-aware nation, we’d like to highlight the opportunities available for dedicated defenders to help build a bigger and more diverse workforce dedicated to solving the problems facing our country now and in the future.

“Moving the needle on cybersecurity awareness requires a collective approach,” said Lisa Plaggemier, the NCA’s executive director. “Businesses, nonprofits and governments all have a role to play in helping to up-level preparedness for cyber threats.”

About NCSAM

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online. Following wide success of the ‘Our Shared Responsibility’ theme in years past, CISA and NCSA have shifted strategic focus to a message that promotes personal accountability.

To learn more about NCSAM, please visit StaySafeOnline.org.

 

[1] https://cybernews.com/editorial/world-economic-forum-finds-that-95-of-cybersecurity-incidents-occur-due-to-human-error/

[2] https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/91-of-cyberattacks-start-with-a-phishing-email

[3] https://www.zdnet.com/article/were-all-still-using-the-same-passwords-even-after-theyve-been-breached/

[4] “How to Deal with Business Email Compromise,” Osterman Research White Paper, January 2022

[5] https://www.nist.gov/system/files/documents/2022/07/06/NICE%20FactSheet_Workforce%20Demand_Final_20211202.pdf

Amber Wolff
Senior Digital Copywriter | SonicWall
Amber Wolff is the Senior Digital Copywriter for SonicWall. Prior to joining the SonicWall team, Amber was a cybersecurity blogger and content creator, covering a wide variety of products and topics surrounding enterprise security. She spent the earlier part of her career in advertising, where she wrote and edited for a number of national clients.
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