October is increasingly synonymous with Halloween as it is more widely observed in Australia and New Zealand. October is also dedicated to a subject that, if ignored, can have scarier outcomes than most people want to experience even on Halloween: cybersecurity. In today’s technology-infused world where the cyberthreat landscape is constantly evolving, staying safe online and protecting organisational data is an absolute necessity.
Campaigns such as Australia’s Stay Smart Online Week and New Zealand’s Cyber Smart Week, as well as other campaigns across Europe, Canada, and the US, all seek to raise awareness, change behaviours, and provide accessible resources to educate people on how to stay safe online.
Working with sensitive information is a daily task for most organisations so being aware of and understanding the risks associated with cyberattacks is imperative. It could cost organisations significant amounts of time and money, and damage their reputations if cybercriminals get their hands on such information.
There are five key ways for people to be more cyber-aware and responsible in the coming year:
The common message of cybersecurity awareness campaigns across the world is that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. It is no use for one person in a department to lock down all their devices and ensure that they are safe when the next person on the same server does not change their settings, leaving a wide gap for cybercriminals to walk through. By sharing the responsibility and ensuring that all employees across organisations know how to protect themselves and their work, it can be possible to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.
In a world increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, advocacy campaigns are vital to educate and increase awareness around the importance of ensuring users and organisations are safe and secure online.
Nick FitzGerald, Senior Research Fellow, ESET