Cybersecurity Awareness Month: See Yourself in Cyber

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: See Yourself in Cyber


This year, the theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “See Yourself in Cyber.”  We’ve decided to focus on cyber hygiene. Following is an article by our CISO, Dan Chandler on the subject, which we also shared in our most recent employee newsletter.

Cyber hygiene is a set of practices organizations and individuals perform regularly to maintain the health and security of users, devices, networks, and data. The goal of cyber hygiene is to keep sensitive data secure and protect it from theft or attacks. An assessment of American cybersecurity practices found that even though 88 percent of Americans report they take necessary steps to stay safe from cyberattacks, less than half perform the bare minimum when it comes to cyber hygiene. Common challenges include the following:

  • The breadth and complexity of IT environments. The sheer volume of users, devices, and assets makes maintaining proper cyber hygiene extremely challenging.
  • Cyber hygiene can never be completed and crossed off a list. Rather, it requires security practitioners and end users to routinely engage in a never-ending stream of important but often mundane and easily neglected behaviors and tasks.
  • IT security teams cannot achieve good cyber hygiene on their own. They need the support and engagement of end users throughout their organizations, including those with little expertise or interest in cybersecurity.

Cyber hygiene is about training users and yourself to think proactively about cybersecurity to resist cyber threats and avoid online cybersecurity issues. It involves developing important habits to help home computers and other devices that rely on connectivity perform at their best. Cyber hygiene also helps detect problems with computers and allows for quick fixes. Some of the cyber threats that cyber hygiene is designed to address include:

  • Security breaches – including threats from hackers, phishing, malware, and viruses.
  • Data loss – hard drives and online cloud storage that are not backed up can be vulnerable to hacking, corruption, or other issues, which could result in losing data.
  • Outdated software – which can leave user devices more vulnerable to online attacks.
  • Older antivirus – security software that is not kept up to date will be less effective at protecting the user against the latest cyber threats.

Poor cyber hygiene can lead to security incidents, data compromise, and data loss. Please be vigilant. Do not get phished/scammed and question and report any suspicious cyber activities to applicable parties.

Here is a good source of more information on cyber hygiene.