As we enter October, many of us might be thinking about the fall season, pumpkin spice lattes, and Halloween. But did you know that October also represents something far more significant in the digital realm? Yes, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month—a time when we should all reflect on the importance of Cybersecurity and review reminders for being more secure.
Over the course of the month iLLÜM we will be posting articles about practical measures everyone can take to be more secure. In the meantime, below is a quick overview of the history of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this year’s theme – Our Shared Responsibility.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month – A Brief History
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a brainchild of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). Their combined vision was simple: create a dedicated month where people and businesses could focus on understanding the threats in the digital landscape and equip themselves with the tools to combat them.
In 2004, President G.W. Bush and Congress designated October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
The Evolving Cybersecurity Theme
Every week of this special month has a unique theme, focusing on different facets of cybersecurity. These themes have covered a wide range of topics over the years, including social engineering, phishing, ransomware, and other rising threats. But there’s more than just weekly themes. The overarching message of the month has always emphasized collective responsibility.
For a decade, from 2009 to 2018, the motto was “Our Shared Responsibility.” This highlighted the notion that everyone—from individual internet users to large corporations—plays a role in ensuring a safe online environment. However, the narrative shifted slightly in 2021, mirroring the challenges of the time. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the slogan became “Do Your Part, Be Cybersmart,” a gentle reminder that being vigilant and informed is a personal responsibility in the digital age.
For 2023’s Cyber Awareness Month, the theme is “Secure our World”, putting a spotlight on areas everyone can take ownership of cybersecurity.
Be Part of the Solution
Securing our World doesn’t happen by awareness alone. Being proactive in seeking knowledge, staying updated with the latest threats, and ensuring that safe online practices are followed are essential. This starts with being aware of best practices. A great resource is CISA’s Cyber Security Awareness Month Toolkit.
So, this October, as you sip on that pumpkin spice latte or plan your Halloween costume, spare a moment to consider your digital footprint. Ask yourself, are you doing your part to be cybersmart?