In a month where many people’s biggest concerns are pumpkin-related, you might consider putting equal effort into something more substantial. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, where people are encouraged to brush up on their everyday information security practices.
With an estimated 2 million cyber attacks last year costing victims £36 billion, there is a lot to be gained from tightening up the way you handle sensitive information.
What is European Cyber Security Month?
Cyber Security Month is an EU awareness campaign that promotes cyber security in the workplace and at home.
It aims to make people understand the threat of cyber crime and the way our actions help or hinder attacks.
Our shared responsibility
The theme of this year’s campaign is “cyber security is a shared responsibility”, which can be interpreted in a couple of ways.
First, it refers to the three aspects of cyber security: people, processes and technology. IT departments must implement software and other security controls to remove vulnerabilities, organisations must create processes that explain to employees how to keep information secure, and people must follow those instructions.
If anyone fails to perform their role, the chance of a data breach increases dramatically.
Cyber security is equally everybody’s responsibility in that no one is exempt from best practices. Senior employees might delegate responsibility or complain that they are too busy to follow certain processes. Similarly, some employees might assume that one person won’t make a difference and so they can cut corners when it comes to things like password management or doing work on a public Wi-Fi.
But if everyone obeys that logic, no one will be following the organisation’s processes. Cyber security best practices can certainly be inconvenient at times, but it only takes one mistake to jeopardise the entire organisation.
What else does Cyber Security Month cover?
The first two weeks cover cyber hygiene, which involves your daily routines and general behaviour when handling sensitive information.
The second half of the month is dedicated to emerging technologies and the way they protect or threaten our security.
This is one of the biggest talking points in the cyber security industry, thanks to the controversial use of biometric data.
Although fingerprints and retinal scans provide a much more secure authentication system than passwords, they also threaten people’s privacy, and breaches of such information have major repercussions.
After all, you can change a password if it’s disclosed but you can’t change your fingerprints.
How you can get involved
There are four events in the UK over the next few weeks that are aligned with European Cyber Security Month:
- Security of Data: 1 October 2019
Technology experts will gather at this event, hosted in Newport, to highlight the threats that organisations face and how they should address their vulnerabilities.
- Dorset Cyber Security Awareness Event: 16 October 2019
A series of short presentations explaining the threat of cyber crime, the role of law enforcement and what we can do to protect ourselves.
- CYBERISLE 2019: 23 October 2019
The Isle of Man government’s inaugural cyber security conference features keynote speakers and networking opportunities between the public and private sectors.
- Security Summit North: 21 November 2019
This one-day event takes place in Manchester, featuring speeches on how to implement strong security measures and how technological advancements create opportunities and challenges for staying secure.
What are we doing for Cyber Security Month?
At the risk of sounding trite, every month is cyber security awareness month at IT Governance. We are committed to helping people improve their cyber security practices, through our blog, webinars, green papers, tools and services.
October is no exception. We’ll be linking to resources that can help keep you and your organisation secure, and sharing cyber security tips and stats to remind you of what you’re up against.
You wouldn’t ignore a medical expert’s advice. Why risk your cyber health?
Don’t risk it, cyber secure it this Cyber Security Month. Find out how to keep your organisation healthy with our dedicated tips.