October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is a good time for everyone to re-evaluate their security procedures and technologies, and the role that they want in their personal and corporate cybersecurity practices. This year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber.” At WatchGuard, we take that to mean that all of us, regardless of our role or responsibility, can make a positive contribution to a safer and more secure online world. Because no matter how much or how little you use the web – to work, attend school or keep up with friends around the world – the choices we make online can impact not just ourselves, but our families, friends, co-workers, and even the integrity of our businesses.
Whether you learn in class or remotely, work in an office or from home, run a small or midsize business or are a technology vendor and services provider, there’s probably more you can do to better protect your data and assets. And because every business and individual should consider themselves a potential target, it’s essential that we all proactively take measures to protect ourselves, our devices, and our data and do what we can to lower our risk. Even small steps can have a big impact when it comes to using the Internet safely.
It’s also important that everyone understand the larger consequences of not thinking about our individual impact on cybersecurity. A lack of awareness or a careless mistake (like clicking on a link from an untrustworthy source) can lead to a loss of data, a ransomware attack or other costly disruption to your business (or personal life). Always remember that even organizations with the strongest and most sophisticated cybersecurity defenses must still rely on individuals to do their part.
Risk is ever-present in this current landscape. If you’re responsible for IT or cybersecurity, think about implementing layered security in your organization so you can trust you’re delivering a risk-prepared and risk-aware work environment. This means you have all the necessary measures in place (people awareness, protected systems and devices) to carry out your daily operations. After all, your decisions and the actions you take ultimately determine the strength of your organization’s security culture.
Of course, this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme can also be taken more literally. Cybersecurity is a very interesting, constantly changing and rewarding field. Cybersecurity experts are in great demand and the opportunities for education, growth and advancement are plentiful. So if you really want to “see yourself in cyber” think about a career in cybersecurity.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some specific information on the general topics that are part of this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month (why you should adopt multi-factor authentication, why strong passwords matter, how to recognize phishing, and the importance of updating systems and software). Don't forget to review the basics of cybersecurity, and stay tuned for more!