Business Process Improvement, Data Security and Privacy, Technology and Mobile

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

FSSI logo Michael Ouellet on October 7, 2021

Person typing on a keyboard with padlock icons hovering above.

Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

This month-long, national effort represents a collaboration between the government and cybersecurity industry to ensure everyone has the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online.

The importance of staying protected from online theft and cyber threats is not a trivial concern; it’s an important foundation to maintain the integrity of a business or individual’s online identity. As digital activities expand further into the home and office, it’s important to take extra precautions when it comes to your data.

Everyone has an important role to play. From making smart choices to being hypervigilant about your online activities, you can contribute to the safety and security of information, including creating safe passwords and protecting your digital footprint.  

2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Month Theme

It’s October again and there’s a new Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme – and this year is an important one:

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.

It isn’t just a catchy phrase; it encompasses an important message. We all need to do our part to maintain cybersecurity.

The idea is to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), “If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.”

History of Cybersecurity Awareness Month

As a nationally-recognized event since October 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has spread awareness of the potential of digital threats and the extra measures everyone can implement to ensure their data remains safe and secure. Here are some facts:

  • Now in its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the U.S.
  • It was previously known as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • It strives to ensure that all Americans have the resources needed to be safer and more secure online
  • It operates under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA)
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact each year
  • It provides awareness to stay informed on the latest technological and educational updates in cybersecurity

History of Cybersecurity Awareness Infographic.
Cybersecurity is always important but this month is Cybersecurity Awareness month. Here are some statistics about Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity, Combating a Growing Threat

So, now let’s look at why cybersecurity awareness is so important.

What began as email scams and viruses has grown into a far more elaborate form of fraud and information manipulation. As we put more of our lives online, we’re increasingly susceptible to prying eyes and hands looking to make use of that information.

Emails are still an incredibly weaponized form of cyber manipulation. Scammers utilize emails – and phone calls – as forms of phishing, which are attempts to acquire sensitive and valuable information in the form of passwords, usernames and credit card numbers. Harmful malware and viruses can also still infect computers and systems just as easily as they did 20 years ago. However, as viruses and the intricacy of identity theft has evolved, so has cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity has become one of the most important pillars of the age of information. Systems and software are meant to protect data centers, computers, phones, websites and more from unauthorized access, control, disruption or misdirection.

Over the last few years computer security, more commonly known as “cybersecurity,” has become far more advanced to deal with today’s growing threats. Spyware, trojan horses, worms, viruses and many more forms of malware still plague systems around the world. However, as threats continue to undermine online privacy, there are plenty of preventative steps and measures you can take to help protect yourself.

cybersecurity awareness month header with man on a computer and a hacker.
Protect your personal data and the sensitive PII and PHI data of your customers.

How to Protect Yourself Online – Tips and Tricks for Security

Control Your Data – Data manipulation starts and ends right at the source: the location of your data. Know who and what always has access to your data. Keep your phones and other devices locked when they’re not in use. Don’t pass passwords around to those who may misuse or unintentionally share them. Keep your information limited to those who strictly need it, at home or in the office.

Update Your Software – Designers and engineers are often just as concerned about cybersecurity as you are. That’s why it’s important to watch out for the latest updates for all apps and programs. The creative minds behind your favorite apps or programs are often more informed on threats to their system than you are. Having the most up-to-date version of their software can be one of the easiest ways to remain protected.

Utilize Strong Authentications and Passwords – Ensuring your data is protected by strong authentication walls can be one of the most formidable forms of online protection. Activating two or multiple-step processes to authenticate your identity can further guarantee that no one has access to your information but you. Elaborate and intricate passwords can help foil the formulas of the many modern password-cracking tools used today.

Back-Up Your Data – Identity theft isn’t the only cyber threat to your data and information. Data disruption or misdirection can be incredibly costly to any business or business professional. Ensuring you have a backup, or multiple back-ups of your data that exist independent of each other can be an invaluable asset and form of protection.

Why Should You Care About Formidable Cybersecurity?

As we place more and more trust and information in our devices and hard drives, we leave ourselves open to more attempts to fraudulently access our data. Everything from financial records and statements, personal conversations and events, to business operations and processes are all becoming increasingly automated and operated in off-site data storage centers. As companies and individuals place more and more importance on their privacy, their data is becoming more vulnerable to mischievous malware and scammers.

Having the proper precautionary protections in place can help to prevent the costly and draining effects of cyber threats and identity theft. Firmware and security programs can provide software updates that keep you and your data protected from the latest threats, but even minor measures like those above can keep you or your company from seeing costly losses. Commemorate this increasingly important National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by taking your data a couple of steps in a safer direction.

FSSI Safeguards Sensitive Customer Data

Data security and customer privacy are top priorities at FSSI. Contact us at 714.436.3300 to learn how we employ the latest and most advanced technologies to maintain the safety and integrity of information – from our in-depth employee training to data security practices.

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