October Is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month graphic
Cybersecurity isn’t just about protecting a single business — it’s about protecting the nation, and everybody has a role to play. That’s the central message of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors.

Every organization that prioritizes cybersecurity — especially those in the Department of Homeland Security’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors — supports the nation’s ability to prevent and respond to cyber threats. Improving security requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.

The first step is building cybersecurity awareness by educating employees. After all, even organizations that have outsized budgets and talented security specialists on staff are susceptible to human error. To help you build awareness within your organization, below are four free resources to share with your employees.

NOVA Labs Cybersecurity course screenshotsNOVA Labs Cybersecurity Course

Available through the free education source Khan Academy, the NOVA Labs Cybersecurity course covers cybersecurity basics. It pulls back the veil on hackers and their motivations, describes how encryption works, defines common terms and offers tips for a safe digital life.

Cybersecurity Lab Game

The Cybersecurity Lab game is another free resource from NOVA Labs. Its objective is for players to defend a company against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks — a sure way to improve cybersecurity knowledge while having fun. Employees can even share the game with their children to teach them about good security practices. As a bonus, they might become interested in a future career in cybersecurity, which is much needed since there’s a shortage of talent in that field.

Cybersecurity Lab game description

Digital Safety and Citizenship Course

Screenshot of Google's Digital Safety and Citizenship Course
Google’s Digital Safety and Citizenship Course consists of six sections, each of which includes two lessons with videos and takes less than 15 minutes. While the course designed for educators, a couple of the videos in the course are ideal for teaching digital hygiene to people of all ages and in all settings (home, work, school, etc.). Check out Online Safety on the Go and Stay Safe from Phishing and Scams.

Have I Been Pwned

Have I Been Pwned homepage screenshot
Created by security researcher Troy Hunt, Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) allows people to see if any accounts associated with a specific email address have been compromised in a known data breach. If an email address is compromised, the account owner will know that they need to change the password of the affected account. There’s also the option to be notified by email if an account is compromised in the future. As of October 2018, HIBP has detected more than 5.4 billion pwned accounts, demonstrating why it’s important to use a different password for every account and to change passwords regularly.

For more tips on improving cybersecurity at your organization, read “Five Ways to Thwart a Cybersecurity Nightmare.”

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