I am a CTO at a cybersecurity company. Here is what you need to know about Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity experts share tips on how to maintain a secure work environment

October marks the designated month for cybersecurity awareness. In light of this, Juta Gurinaviciute, the esteemed CTO of NordLayer and a renowned expert in cybersecurity, shares her insights in an exclusive interview. Gurinaviciute delves into the significance of this month, global cyber trends, and offers guidance on the initial steps businesses should consider for a robust cybersecurity plan while shedding light on the most dangerous threats in the IT world.

Why celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Cybersecurity Awareness Month serves as a platform to educate staff, collaborators, and stakeholders about the constantly shifting world of cyber threats. Beyond being a technical observance, it resonates culturally as well. Gurinaviciute offers her insights on the essence of cybersecurity awareness:

“As someone who builds the technical infrastructure within our company, there cannot be too much cybersecurity awareness. When individuals and businesses are educated, they make more informed decisions regarding their online activities,” she says. “A knowledgeable public is less susceptible to cyber threats, making the digital ecosystem safer for everyone involved. As awareness spreads, it fosters a culture where cybersecurity becomes second nature, promoting collective vigilance.”  

Promoting safe practices

Cybersecurity Awareness Month reminds businesses and their staff to maintain secure practices regularly. Such practices include:

1. Regular employee training 

Many security problems happen because of human errors, and since the threat landscape keeps changing, so should training modules. By updating training content often, employees stay ready to face new issues. Training helps them spot and avoid common mistakes. Additionally, using real-life examples in training helps employees understand and connect better.

2. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)

This cybersecurity tool is essential, providing extra protection even if a password gets breached. But, it doesn’t suit everyone in the same way. Examples of MFA options are biometric checks like retinal scans and fingerprints, single-use passwords sent via tokens, email, or SMS, physical devices like security badges and cards, and factors like keyboard behavior, location data, and the network you’re using.

3. Keeping software updated

Updates usually come with security fixes for known vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit. They also often have better security features for added safety.

To stay safe and follow rules, businesses can set automatic software updates, which lowers the risk of missing an update.

According to a NordVPN survey, the National Privacy Test is that more Americans now understand the importance of timely updates. This year, 66% updated their devices promptly, up from 59% last year.

The three biggest cybersecurity threats

Gurinaviciute discusses the prevalent cybersecurity issues today that pose significant challenges for businesses:

Firstly, phishing continues to be a widespread problem. Scammers use misleading emails or messages to trick people into giving away private details like passwords or bank information. What is worse, with advancements in AI, phishing methods can appear even more genuine. AI can create dialogues and even create realistic deepfakes, tempting individuals to share confidential work-related details.

Secondly, delayed, or incomplete updates pose risks. Not updating software and hardware promptly or correctly increases the chance of an attack. In situations where users neglect to apply new security patches, weak spots can emerge. Utilizing firewalls, cloud security measures, and prompt updates can help prevent such threats from happening.

Lastly, the Internet of Things (IoT) also has vulnerabilities. As connected devices multiply rapidly, the chances for attacks expand. Many IoT devices don’t have strong security, making some of them easy targets. Once breached, an IoT device can act as an entry point to broader systems, leading to extensive harm.

To mark Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NordLayer offers a quiz to test your cybersecurity knowledge. Try it here.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Read Next: Top 5 cybersecurity threats in 2023 and how to address them

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