Twenty years ago, the first Cybersecurity Awareness Month was celebrated—and every year since, it’s continued to serve as a reminder of the role we all play in ensuring the world’s networks remain safe.
Today, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has evolved into a collaborative effort between industry and government to enhance cyber-awareness, empower the public with actionable steps for reducing online risk, and encourage an ongoing dialogue about cyber threats on a national and global scale.
In concert with the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), who administer the program, SonicWall will spend this month exploring ways to help organizations and individuals protect their information and secure their systems and devices.
What’s In Store for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023?
During the month of October, we’ll explore four primary themes, offering background, tips and actionable strategies to help everyone in the workforce engage in reducing cyber risk:
- Use Strong Passwords: Strong passwords are long, random, unique and include all four character types. Password managers can be a powerful tool in helping ensure your passwords are optimized for online safety, not maximum convenience.
- Turn On MFA: Passwords alone aren’t enough: If your credentials are compromised in a breach, anyone can access your accounts. But using Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) makes it significantly less likely that you’ll get hacked.
- Recognize and Report Phishing: Phishing messages are getting more sophisticated every day. Be wary of any unsolicited message requesting personal information: Don’t share your credentials with anyone, and never share sensitive information unless you can confirm the identity of the requestor.
- Update Software: While zero-day exploits continue to dominate discussions about cybersecurity, the sad truth is that many breaches are the result of unpatched vulnerabilities that are years old. Ensuring that your software is up to date is an important way to ensure you’re not leaving an open door for attackers.
How CISA Is Working to Secure Our World
In conjunction with the year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month themes, CISA also announced a new initiative in celebration of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s 20th anniversary. “Secure Our World” will be a new, enduring cybersecurity awareness campaign unifying messaging across CISA’s span of awareness programs and other efforts.
Secure Our World is designed to shape cyber behaviors nationwide, with a particular focus on how individuals, families and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can make a difference. It will encourage everyone to take action each day to protect themselves while online or using connected devices.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check back frequently during October — we’ll be adding a new blog each week to help SonicWall users and the wider community become significantly safer online.