Week 4 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Cybersecurity First!

Well, it is hard to believe that CyberSecurity Awareness Month 2021 is coming to a close. Try to write down some key takeaways from this month’s campaign. For example, think back to week one, Be Cyber Smart. There really are several ideas that you should already be doing. For example, software updates are critical to ensure you are doing everything you can to patch security vulnerabilities. Have you added Multi-factor authentication (MFA), at least to your most critical applications? Sometimes having a long password is not enough. Add MFA for an extra layer of protection.

What did you learn from week 2, Fight the Phish? The bad actors are getting very sophisticated, so you have to stay on your toes. Train your staff, train your family. Disaster could be only 1 click away.

Week 3 wasn’t all gloom and doom, hopefully you learned how cool and lucrative it could be to have a career in cybersecurity. There is a growing need in this career field. Make sure you are introducing the idea to your kids. Remember it is not too late if you are wanting a career change yourself. You can teach old dogs new tricks.

So, that brings up the last week of this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Cybersecurity First. You have to make cybersecurity a priority. Security should always be among the first steps in implementing a new process, updating an old process, developing or using a new application, adding new equipment or changing to a new vendor. Security should be kept in mind when onboarding a new staff member (training) and terminating staff. When a team member leaves the organization, you should change their passwords or shut down their access. You can start considering “Cybersecurity First” in your organization by incorporating practices from the 405(d) publication, Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients(HICP).

Cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought. This goes for your businesses and your home. Criminals are going after anything they can get. Teach your staff, but don’t forget about your family, both young and old. Donna has a great quote, “If you use connected technology you are part of the cybersecurity team.” Cybersecurity starts with you! I don’t know of one person in my life that doesn’t have something that is connected. From my 6 year old nephew with his Gameboy to my 81 year old parents and their Fire TVs, we all have to put Cybersecurity First!

Even though this week marks the end of Cybersecurity Awareness Month for 2021, cybersecurity awareness and training should continue. Don’t stop the progress you’ve made with your staff and family. Maintaining a cybersecure workplace and home takes teamwork and must become a daily practice. Everyone is a part of the cybersecurity team and teamwork is the only way we’ll be able to defend against threats from cyber attacks.