Cyber Security Awareness Month – 2021 Edition

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BeCyberSmart, Cyber Defense, cyber security

It’s here! It’s finally here! No, it’s not Christmas…but it sure feels that way in the cyber security realm. That’s because Cyber Security Awareness Month is back!

Now in its 18th year, Cyber Security Awareness Month is continuing its annual effort to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security in our personal and professional lives. The ultimate end goal of this month? To ensure that everyone has the resources and information they need to remain safe and secure in our digital world.


A Bit of History

Cyber Security Awareness Month, or National Cyber Security Awareness Month as it was previously known, was launched back in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security.

When it first began, the advice was fairly minimalistic. Awareness centered around tips such as updating your antivirus software twice a year – mimicking the timings of advice like changing the batteries in your smoke alarms when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends.

Cyber Security Awareness Month evolved in 2009 with the addition of a theme. From 2009 to 2018, the theme was, “Our Shared Responsibility”. The theme showcased that everyone – from individual computer users all the way up to the largest of organizations – had an important role to play in securing their digital assets.  In 2011, weekly themes were added to further enhance Cyber Security Awareness Month. The idea arose thanks to the feedback of key stakeholders, who felt that the addition would allow other industries to better align to the themes at hand. Past weekly themes have included law enforcement, education, critical infrastructure, and healthcare, to name a few!


Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart

Last year’s overarching theme of Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart was so good, it was brought back this year for round two! This theme encourages everyone (individuals and organizations alike) to do their part and own their role in being cyber secure.


Week 1: Be Cyber Smart

Our first weekly theme of the month is simple and echoes the monthly theme: Be Cyber Smart!

This week is all about the fundamentals of cyber security, focusing on ways we can better secure our personal and professional digital lives and how we can improve the security of our devices. It also highlights the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cyber security – instead of being reactive!


Week 2: Phight the Phish!

In week two of Cyber Security Awareness Month, things get a little phishy as we Phight the Phish!

74% of U.S. organizations experienced a successful phishing attack last year, 30% higher than the global average and a 14% year-over-year increase.

Proofpoint – 2021 State of the Phish

This week’s theme concentrates on the steps that individuals and businesses can take to reduce their risks to phishing and ransomware. The past year has shown an increase in phishing attempts, which can often lead to ransomware attacks. With our homes, schools, and businesses more connected than ever before, it’s vital that we remain vigilant and #BeCyberSmart!


Week 3: Explore. Experience. Share.

Week three of Cyber Security Awareness Month offers us a double whammy! Not only do we have the theme of Explore. Experience. Share., it’s also Cyber Security Career Awareness Week!

This week highlights the vital role cyber security professionals play in global society and security. As a bonus: if you follow along with Kalnara on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, we’ll tell you about some unique roles in the cyber security realm. Who knows – maybe you’ll find a new career!


Week 4: Cyber Security First

The final week of Cyber Security Awareness Month is all about Cyber Security First. It brings home the message that cyber security is a year-round effort. Remember, cyber security best practices should be included as part of the decision-making process from the start.

This message is increasingly important as we continue to expand our digital footprints, making adjustments in our personal and professional lives as we navigate these unprecedented times.


Follow Along with Us!

The Kalnara team will be offering a TON of information throughout Cyber Security Awareness Month. Come join us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter as we drop tips and tricks out to you every day this month!

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