October is Cybersecurity Month
In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security created “Cybersecurity Awareness Month.”
Nineteen years later, it seems like every day is cybersecurity day.
Not a day goes by when we are not talking about the critical cybersecurity best practices that get reinforced in October. We recommend you get started with these 5 essentials:
- Use complicated passwords
- Turn on multifactor authentication
- Be educated about phishing tactics
- Keep software upgrades up to date
- Have a written plan for when — not if — security gets breached
Rather than rehash what we reinforce every day, let’s use October to remind ourselves of the terrific benefits we gain by following this advice.
Freedom and Productivity
Sophisticated passwords, password authenticators, and multifactor authentication are minor inconveniences in exchange for this relatively newfound freedom to work from anywhere using almost any device that you want.
Think about that. You can close the financial books for the month of October from a beach on the Florida Keys using your smartphone. If the way to have this freedom and NOT be robbed by cybercriminals takes an additional 60 seconds of time for security measures, this seems well worth it…
The car is an empowering machine—it certainly beats walking—but learning to drive safely is what makes all of the benefits possible in the long term. As any police officer or EMT will tell you: the most dangerous part about driving on the roads are the other drivers.
Using IT devices to drive on the Internet is similar. The “bad drivers” are criminals using every trick they can think of to cause us to do something unsafe. Educating and testing ourselves frequently so that we can spot the “bad drivers” before they cause an accident gives us the extra layer of protection that we need to take advantage of the Internet safely.
Work is more enjoyable and successful when people can rely on each other as a team focused on the same goals—regardless of where each team member happens to be at any given moment. This cannot be underestimated—but it can be overestimated if that collaborative infrastructure isn’t working efficiently, or securely.
Similarly, the IT professionals on your team are there to help make sure that your software is always up to date and free of the glitches that can lead to a cyber-attack. Your partner wants you to be prepared for recovery situations so that they can have your back when you need it the most.
So, let’s celebrate October instead of fearing the message. Cybersecurity is all about making our connected lives better and safer. The best practices are not nuisances, they are the tools that make everything we want from the digital world possible.