It’s that time of year again – Cybersecurity Awareness Month is just around the corner!
As we’ve seen in recent years, cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses and individuals alike. With data breaches becoming more and more common, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself online.
So what can you do to get ready for Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
This year, throughout October, The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA as well as National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) will be focusing on and highlighting key action steps that everyone should take:
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
- Use Strong Passwords
- Recognize and Report Phishing
- Update Your Software
As such, we’ve put together this free roadmap of content you can use to get started on your own awareness and training efforts. Use it to plan and prepare your own program for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, or simply share it with your team to get them up to speed on what they should be doing to stay safe online.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to protect your accounts from being compromised. By requiring more than just a username and password to log in, you can make it much harder for attackers to gain access to your accounts – even if they do have your credentials.
There are a variety of MFA methods you can use, including:
- Hardware OTP (one-time password) tokens
- Standalone OTP (one-time password) mobile applications
- SMS-based OTP (one-time password) solutions.
- Smartcards and cryptographic hardware tokens.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you enable MFA on all of your important accounts – especially those that contain sensitive data or give attackers access to sensitive systems.
- CISA – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – Director Jen Easterly discusses enabling MFA. – YouTube
- Auth0 – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- National Institute Of Standards And Technology USDC – Back to Basics: What’s multi-factor authentication – and why should I care?
One of the easiest ways to improve your cybersecurity is to start using strong passwords. A strong password is one that is long, unique, and not easily guessed. You should also avoid using the same password on multiple accounts, as this makes it easier for attackers to gain access to all of your accounts if they do manage to compromise one.
If you’re not sure how to create a strong password, there are a variety of password generators available online that can help. Once you have a few strong passwords, make sure you store them securely – either in a password manager or offline in a secure location.
Strong Passwords Content:
- CISA – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – Choosing and Protecting Passwords
- FTC – Federal Trade Commission – Password Checklist
- FBI – Federal Bureau Of Investigation – FBI Tech Tuesday – Strong Passphrases and Account Protection
Phishing is one of the most common and effective methods used by attackers to gain access to accounts and sensitive data. Phishing attacks usually come in the form of an email, text message, or website that looks legitimate but is actually a fake. These fake sites and messages are designed to trick you into giving up your username, password, or other sensitive information.
To protect yourself from phishing attacks, it’s important to be able to recognize them. Look for red flags like misspellings, grammatical errors, and unexpected requests for personal information. If you’re ever unsure about the legitimacy of an email, website, or message, you can always verify it by contacting the company or person it’s supposedly from directly.
If you do receive a phishing email, report it to the company it’s impersonating and delete it from your inbox. Do not reply to the email or click on any links it contains.
- FBI – Federal Bureau Of Investigation – Spoofing and Phishing
- Texas Attorney General – How to Spot and Report Internet and Email Scams
- CISA – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – Report Phishing Sites
One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to improve your cybersecurity is to make sure your software is up to date. Outdated software is one of the most common ways attackers gain access to systems and sensitive data. By keeping your software up to date, you can close any known security holes that could be exploited by attackers.
To make sure your software is always up to date, you can enable automatic updates. This way, you’ll always have the latest security patches and features without having to remember to check for updates yourself.
Software Update Content:
- CISA – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency -Understanding Patches and Software Updates
- FCC – Federal Communications Commission Updating Your Smartphone Operating System
- FTC – Federal Trade Commission – Update your software now
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to cybersecurity. However, by following these simple steps, you can make a huge impact on your cybersecurity.
By using this roadmap, you can be confident you’re covering all the bases. So get started today and make sure you’re prepared for Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October! Need help with your cybersecurity? We’re here and ready to talk with you! Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our website.
ECN IT Solutions is a managed service provider (MSP) based in Tucson, Arizona that provides full-service, outsourced IT Support for companies across the Southwest. We offer network monitoring and management, cybersecurity, and a help desk with a response time of under 10 minutes. For more information, contact us online or call (520) 355-7553 and we’ll get in touch with you faster than you can believe.