It’s October, which means leaves are changing, pumpkin spice is being doled out with reckless abandon and your household has probably already eaten two bags of candy that were supposed to be for Halloween.
Additionally, October is also the most popular month in the year to bring attention to various issues and causes. With over 20 important topics to promote, it can be challenging to fit so much awareness into just 31 days. So, here is a quick guide to help you going forward:
While I could probably write a blog entirely devoted to National Pizza Month, my focus here is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Unstoppable force meets immovable object
The thing about cybersecurity is that most people need a lot more of it than they currently have in place. They are also usually convinced they will be fine without making any adjustments.
This got me thinking about my five-year-old son, Kade. He’s an amazing kid. He’s also what it looks like when perpetual motion and zero fear take human form. This is a child who once mistook a sleeping groundhog for a cat and proceeded to pet it before it ran away. After explaining to him that it wasn’t a cat, he just shrugged and ran off to practice his parkour skills on my furniture.
By now, I’ve probably told him 500 times to stop running, jumping, spinning, and flipping on the furniture. Eventually, you are going to get hurt, I tell him. It hadn’t happened yet, though, so, to him, it was just another made-up possibility from dad…until a few months ago.
I had just made lunch. Like most parents, I made the silly assumption that Kade would sit still and eat it. Apparently, it is much more enjoyable to train for American Ninja Warrior, then it is to just eat your lunch. He ended up flipping backwards off the dining room bench—and this time, he managed to land head-first on the ceramic tile floor, and give himself a baseball-sized knot on the back of his head. He had to learn the hard way.
When it comes to cybersecurity, businesses—and people in general—are learning the hard way as well. Security breaches, such as the 500 million compromised Yahoo accounts, are becoming standard news. The problem is that, when major cybersecurity incidents occur so frequently, they tend to become white noise. Desensitization sets in.
We all hear about cyberattacks happening over and over, yet so many of us neglect to implement the necessary changes and solutions. Instead, we just tune it out and assume it only happens to other people. And, rather than recognizing the threat at-hand, we declare the news and constant warnings from those in the industry to be mere scare tactics.
Full transparency…these threats are not scare tactics.
Think of it this way… There are approximately 3.5 billion internet users in the world. Since 2005, there have been about one billion unique records involved in data breaches. And, with numbers growing annually, how long do you realistically think you can abstain from taking action and still avoid being compromised?
A cybersecurity self-assessment
If you want to strengthen your security posture, you have to first assess which areas need improvement. Then, get the conversation about your organization’s security needs started by reaching out to your IT company.