The month of October was declared Cybersecurity Awareness Month by the government of the United States of America in 2004 in a move led by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). The annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month is now in its 19th year and the need to empower people about their cyber-safety has never been more important.
The collaboration sought to ensure an improved effort between the government and industries to ensure every American had the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.
President Biden acknowledged that while he may have signed an executive order last year to modernize the federal government’s cybersecurity defenses to mitigate cyber threats – helping to raise the standard of cybersecurity in software products sold to Americans – the onus of cybersecurity awareness cannot be pushed only onto governments, but also citizens themselves.
This forms part of this year’s campaign theme which is “See Yourself in Cyber” – an approach that centers on the human element of cybersecurity and how people are ultimately at the core of cybersecurity awareness. While the initiative was born in the United States of America, it pushes global precedent and forces all countries to inspect their cybersecurity awareness protocols.
How to “See Yourself in Cyber”
In 2022, a total of 82% breaches involved the human element according to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) – all through the use of stolen credentials, phishing scams, misuse, or simple errors made.
The push to focus on individuals has the benefit of ensuring that everyday people are aware of how to improve their cybersecurity and how they might be at risk. The rapid bounds made in technology have increased the chances of anyone becoming the victim of increasingly sophisticated cyber-crimes – whether at home, at work, or anywhere else.
It’s pivotal that the public understands how intricately laced into our everyday lives the threat of cyber-attacks truly are in order to commit to responsible and effective cybersecurity solutions fully.
How to Increase your Cybersecurity Awareness
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency has highlighted 4 steps that everyone should take in order to mitigate the threat of cyber-attacks and increase their cybersecurity awareness during this month – and every other month:
- Think Before You Click. The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report assessed that a total of 19,954 complaints were related to business email compromised issues and that the losses from these incidents amounted to $2.4 billion. Cyber-criminals count on your carelessness when opening up email links and files - always ensure that any links received are not suspicious-looking and that every URL clicked looks sensible before clicking them, regardless of if they’ve come from trusted sources or not.
- Update Your Software. We all understand the urge to click “remind me later” when an update notification pops up, but this delay only helps hackers take advantage of your outdated software and neglected cybersecurity measures on your devices. Make sure to promptly update your software to ensure that your installed cyber-protection remains effectual and consistent.
- Use Strong Passwords. Passwords might give the impression of advanced security but people tend to be predictable and lazy when selecting a password in an effort to remember it themselves – a move that poses a risk to their cybersecurity. Try to make use of randomly generated and complex passwords and utilize a password manager to encrypt and store your passwords for future use to automatically recall them.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication. Multi-factor authentication provides a multi-layered cybersecurity solution for your accounts and devices to ensure that access is limited, personalized, and secure. Enabling the multi-factor authentication feature will ensure that your chances of getting hacked are significantly lowered.
The Cyber Safety Video Series:
You can visit https://cyber.org/cybersafety to watch the series of videos prepared for General Public Cyber Safety Videos. They have highlighted some of the common potential threats users likely to face online and what they can do to make sure they stay safe!
This video series includes the topics for:
- Internet of Things
- Social Media Safety
- Making Strong Passwords
- Online Gaming Safety
- Video Call Safety
You can also download the cards for quick reference from the website such as below for Ransomware Protection
The Cybersecurity Threats We Face
The "See Yourself in Cyber" Public Toolkit created by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency for 2022 focuses on all the key aspects of cybersecurity awareness – reiterating that making the internet safe and secure is everyone’s responsibility and that our choices online have ripple effects all around us.
There are numerous cyber-threats skulking around the internet in wait for an oblivious user to stumble into. The toolkit focuses on a few of these threats that people should remain mindful of:
Naturally, the most generally known cybersecurity threats are malicious programs that infect your device and software. Viruses, trojan horses, ransomware attacks, and worms can all easily hack into your system – allowing criminals to steal your personal information, destroy data or hold your files for ransom.
Personal Information Theft and Scams
Cyber-criminals will try to access your devices and accounts if you’re negligible to your personal information. Refrain from discussing sensitive details in public and dispose of receipts and paper trails properly in order to prevent the risk of identity theft. Try to remain vigilant at all times and alert about who has access to your information.
A phishing scam is one of the most common forms of cyber-infiltration that people tend to fall for. A simple corrupted email link can destabilize an entire IT infrastructure and open the floodgates for any number of malware. Phishing attacks easily capture their victims by appearing to be sent from seemingly trustworthy organizations and sources. Ensure that you and all your employees remain vigilant when opening any emails or attachments.
The “See Yourself in Cyber” toolkit provided some examples of scam emails that you might come across:
- "We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below, and confirm your identity."
- "During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn’t verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."
- "Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund."
While we can commend our governments for trying to shine a spotlight on cybersecurity through initiatives like Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the reality is that the first line of defense for most companies still lies with the people in charge of them.
The responsibility of your company’s cybersecurity should be entrusted to providers who truly understand and service the most vulnerable points of your IT infrastructure while giving precedent to human insight. It is within this integrated philosophy between man and machine that Sangfor Technologies can craft unique cybersecurity products and solutions.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month Solutions from Sangfor
Through constant improvement and review, Sangfor strives to provide cybersecurity solutions that will ensure your organization, and every person who helps keep it afloat, will be safe from any cyber threat with our list of innovative products and services:
- Starting with our esteemed Sangfor Endpoint Secure technology that provides integrated protection against malware infections and APT breaches across your entire organization's network – all with ease of management, operation, and maintenance. The platform also received the AV-TEST “Top Product” award for achieving 100% ransomware protection against zero-day malware.
- Additionally, the Sangfor Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is an AI-generated firewall that can identify malicious files at both the network level and endpoints. Powered by the malware detection and protection of Neural-X and Engine Zero, it provides comprehensive and holistic protection from all threats.
- The Sangfor Cyber Command (NDR) Platform monitors for malware, residual security events, and future potential compromises in your network and is coupled with our advanced Threat Intelligence technology and an enhanced AI algorithm that can keep you updated on any vulnerabilities detected.
- Sangfor’s Internet Access Gateway (IAG) is useful in identifying and securing endpoint devices to ensure they are secure and connected in compliance with the company. The gateway collaborates with Sangfor’s Endpoint Secure platform to enforce Proxy Avoidance Protection on any user attempting to use proxy avoidance applications to bypass your company’s security perimeters. You can gain visibility and control over your workplace without impacting your network performance.
- Finally, Sangfor’s Cyber Guardian services combine advanced AI-powered threat detection technologies with updated global threat intelligence to detect and identify known and unknown threats - all while employing human logic and professional skepticism in threat analysis to provide context-relevant threat notifications and alerts.
Sangfor focuses on the human connection within cybersecurity awareness and as a result, we strive to promote services and solutions that will relay the message that our commitment is to the individuals that make up the corporations we represent, and not simply the brands themselves. For more information on Sangfor’s cyber security and cloud computing solutions, visit www.sangfor.com.