Indeed, it is December. Don’t worry, we didn’t get our calendar mixed up. Every October, the US celebrates Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Since 2004, NCSAM (National Cyber Security Awareness Month) is commemorated across the country specifically to raise awareness around the importance of cybersecurity and the collaborative responsibilities both the government and other industries have in protecting, frankly, everyone.
This year, the dedicated theme was “See Yourself in Cyber” and turned the focus of NCSAM 2022 on whom cyberattacks and -threats effect: the people. Much of the discussions around cybersecurity are specifically around corporations or countries concerning huge sweeping data leaks and hacking efforts, which is why this year’s theme is specifying the individual. Despite any perceived differences, the fact remains that protecting data as a person or as a business, even the most basic efforts can make a huge difference, especially when they become habitual practices.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) have worked on creating simple guidelines that are easy to follow for just this purpose:
· Think Before You Click
· Update Your Software
· Use Strong Passwords
· Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
We certainly admire these easy-to-follow practices because so many attackers don’t just work on hacking large targets. One in three American household computers has malware contained within them. 160,000 Facebook accounts are hacked every day. Time and money are constantly drained from the average person daily dealing with malware and the resulting fallout. Even the Biden-Harris Administration has recently led the charge with bipartisan efforts to make significant changes in how cybersecurity is handled.
However, the uphill challenge of cybersecurity is something that suffers from a lack of education and ease of use barriers. Dedicating a singular month to cybersecurity is a wonderful practice. At NAN, we believe it is a great way to renew efforts for the coming year. This is why we don’t celebrate just one month of cybersecurity awareness. Attacks occur every day no matter the month.
Zero trust is a specific approach to security with a unique perspective. “Never trust, always verify” is the main philosophical motto behind this concept and one that is quickly becoming the new baseline for measuring against. The terminology and idea aren’t new, having been around since 1994, however, it’s only recently become more popular. Zero Trust is not a product or set of products, but a strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an entire organization by eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every digital interaction.
As we wrap up the year with online shopping, flights to visit friends and family, more focus on time off from work, and an overall slowdown in productivity, this approach to security is more important now than ever. Total, consistent security is what can truly protect from outside attacks. Security is a cycle, it’s not a one-and-done thing. As much as we'd like to "set it and forget it", viable and trusted security requires more.
So, happy last month of 2022 and remember, it’s not just a singular month in the fall that we need to remember all of this, it’s year-round. Join the conversation or shoot us a question or comment, we love to hear from you directly. Check out how NAN is practicing a #CybersecurityAllYear philosophy and how you can too by following us on social media or checking out our website, www.nan.com.