As Cyber Security Awareness Month approaches in 2023, organisations around the world are gearing up to strengthen their defense against cyber threats. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of Cyber Security Awareness Month and share initiatives that organisations can undertake to educate their staff on cyber awareness.
Understanding Cyber Security Awareness Month
Cyber Security Awareness Month, observed annually in October, serves as a global reminder of the importance of online safety and best practices. It aims to educate individuals and organisations about potential cyber risks and foster a proactive approach towards cyber security.
2023 marks 20 Years of Cyber Security Awareness Month. This year’s theme ’20 Years of Cyber Security Awareness Month’ looks at how far security education and awareness has come in that time, and where it needs to go in order to fulfill our vision of a secure interconnected world.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 will focus on four key behaviors all month long:
- Use strong passwords and a password manager
- Turn on multifactor authentication
- Recognise and report phishing
- Update software
Why is Cyber Security Awareness Month Essential
Cyber Security Awareness Month plays a vital role in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. With the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks on the rise, organisations must prioritise cyber security education to protect sensitive data and mitigate risks.
According to Verizon’s 2023 DBIR, a staggering 74% of all breaches involve the human element. Whether through human error, privilege misuse, use of stolen credentials, or social engineering, individuals play a significant role in cyber attacks.
By raising awareness about cyber security, organisations can effectively mitigate risks caused by both unintentional errors and malicious intentions. Educating employees on best practices, such as recognising phishing attempts, using strong passwords, and practicing safe browsing habits equips them with the skills needed to navigate the digital landscape securely.
Organisations are increasingly subject to regulatory requirements that mandate comprehensive cyber security measures, including employee education and awareness programs. Cyber Security Awareness Month provides an opportunity for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to compliance and proactive risk management.
Ideas for Cyber Security Awareness Month
- Training Programs
Develop comprehensive training programs that cover various aspects of cyber security, such as recognising phishing emails, creating strong passwords, and practicing safe browsing habits. In doing so you can equip employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves and the organisation from cyber attacks.
- Simulated Phishing Campaigns
Simulated phishing campaigns involve sending mock phishing emails to employees, designed to resemble real phishing attempts. These emails contain elements commonly found in fraudulent messages, such as urgent requests for personal information, suspicious attachments, or links to malicious websites. The goal is to trick employees into taking actions that could compromise their security.
By conducting simulated phishing campaigns, organisations can gain valuable insights into their susceptibility to phishing attacks. These campaigns serve as an essential tool in assessing the effectiveness of existing security measures and identifying areas that require additional training and support. Simulated phishing campaigns also play a crucial role in educating employees about phishing techniques and best practices to follow when handling suspicious emails.
- Cyber Awareness Posters
Display engaging and informative posters throughout the workplace to reinforce cyber security best practices. These materials can be strategically placed in common areas, shared via email, or accessible on the company intranet to maximise visibility.
- Employee Champions
Identify cyber-savvy employees who can act as ambassadors for cyber security awareness within the organisation. These champions can help promote best practices, answer questions, and provide ongoing support to their colleagues.
- Play Cyber Security Games
Engage employees through interactive resources that simulate common scams and security attacks. Gamified training enhances learning retention and participation, providing an enjoyable and effective way to educate staff. You could also host a cyber security team quiz at the end of the month, where people can test their knowledge and get competitive!
- Make It an Event
Hosting an event or series of activities during Cyber Security Awareness Month creates a buzz around the topic, encourages participation, and fosters a sense of community within the organisation. Schedule regular lunch-and-learn sessions throughout the month, covering different topics related to cyber security. These sessions can be conducted by internal experts, external speakers, or even watching a webinar as a team.
Download Our Cyber Security Awareness Month Toolkit
To assist you in your efforts to bolster cyber security awareness within your organisation, we’ve prepared a comprehensive Cyber Security Awareness Month Toolkit. This toolkit is a one-stop resource that includes posters, screensavers, campaign planners and how-to guides. By leveraging this toolkit, you can streamline your awareness campaigns and empower your employees to become the first line of defense against cyber threats.