The phrase “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” may be familiar to you. It was developed by the UK-based charity Dog’s Trust to raise awareness of the ongoing commitment that a buddy with four legs need. Similarly, even though October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, cultivating a cybersecurity culture inside your company takes more than just a single month; excuse the pun; it takes a tenacious dedication.
It’s true that October is a terrific month to focus on cybersecurity because of all the exciting events and webinars that leading industry professionals are hosting, as well as the abundance of posts on social media regarding safe password usage. But what happens at the end of the month?
To help you establish a genuine cybersecurity culture within your company, I’ll include an annual checklist of cybersecurity awareness activities in this post that you can implement after October.
- Action items to take right after following Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Annual cybersecurity awareness plan template
- Recall: Cybersecurity Being aware extends beyond your coworkers.
Action items to take right after following Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Conduct an after-the-fact survey
When cybersecurity month is done, the first thing you should do is ask your colleagues, “What would you like to know more about?” In a survey, find out what worked, what didn’t, and—above all—what more you could learn from them. The additional demands that your awareness activities may have on you in terms of knowledge, abilities, and internal transformation may surprise you. If you don’t quickly follow up on these, you risk losing steam.
Profit on people’s ambition to advance their skills
After Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I frequently observe that coworkers in non-IT departments need more in-depth instruction on subjects that are pertinent to them. A finance team, for instance, could be interested in learning more about Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks and the procedures they could use to strengthen their defenses. Use this as a chance to ensure that better security practices result from raised awareness.
Create your awareness calendar for the ensuing 12 months, including instructions on how to put what students learn into practice.
A year-long security awareness campaign is an admirable objective, as was previously mentioned. According to this year’s Cybersecurity Attitudes and habits report from the National Cybersecurity Alliance and CybSafe, there’s still a lot of space for improvement even though half of all people follow the five key security habits.
Keep in mind that being aware of your surroundings is not sufficient. One typical criticism of awareness training is that it usually focuses more on theoretical and frightening topics than on offering actionable advice on how individuals might enhance their security practices. When doing awareness training, it is important to make sure that participants receive concrete recommendations.
Making it more pertinent to them is one approach to achieve this. When you discuss cybersecurity with people about their families and at home, most of them become more interested. Fortunately, all of the security precautions that keep them safe at home also keep our organizations safe.
Annual cybersecurity awareness plan template
Please take note that organizations in the northern hemisphere are the target audience for this plan. Feel free to modify the ideas to suit what your coworkers are probably thinking about in January if your summer vacation falls during that month!
January to February
The beginning of tax season falls on the same day for the US, Canada, and the majority of European nations. Therefore, now is an excellent opportunity to alert people to the various tax frauds, impersonation, refunds, and general phishing relating to taxes.
This will support the reinforcement of security best practices, such as scanning for all forms of phishing, smishing, and vishing. This training can promote the practices of selecting strong credentials and preventing credential reuse in areas where tax regimes permit users to secure their tax accounts using PINs and passwords.
March to April
March is a time of year when a lot of people start organizing their vacations in order to get away from the residual winter cold in many places (or to chase it with a ski getaway). Families are taking advantage of this window of time to book trips because it coincides with spring break for many schools.
This month is a fantastic time to raise awareness about typical hotel and vacation rental frauds. This supports the security practice of checking a website’s provenance and reminds colleagues that you shouldn’t always trust information just because it’s on the internet!
May to June
As spring comes to an end in May, it’s a great idea to organize and motivate individuals to “spring clean” their passwords. Since a lot of people, according to research, have more than ten critical passwords, take this chance to remind colleagues to make sure they are using the right security measures on these accounts. They can carry out this action by:
- Switching to passphrases from passwords
- ensuring that every single one is distinct
- visiting a website to see if their email address has been compromised
- Turning on MFA (if the app or website supports it)
July to August
Concentrate on educating individuals about the significance of device upgrades as the summer holiday season approaches. You can use the (admittedly corny) metaphor that after a long day of work, gadgets require rejuvenation, just like people do, and that rejuvenation can be obtained through software updates.
You can tie this into how people should update their lights and cameras to secure their houses while they are away, since many people now have IoT devices in their homes. The habit of updating the device’s default password should also be emphasized, but the main focus should be on making sure the software is updated on the device—ideally automatically.
It’s a good idea to discuss work devices here as well. Tell them why it’s essential that work devices receive updates as well, and be sure to emphasize the pertinent security practices you want, such as updating promptly.
In September, shift your attention to highlighting one of the less important security practices: data backups. Ask your coworkers to consider all of the family-related photos they’ve shot in the previous year and how they would feel if something happened to them!
This month’s security habit to pay attention to is ensuring sure your coworkers’ valuables are backed up and how very simple cloud backup implementation is these days. Here, you can compare colleagues’ systems—which might not be regularly backed up—with your own systems at work.
It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month once more! Make the most of the attention that this month has to offer and begin organizing your ongoing cybersecurity awareness efforts for the upcoming year. You don’t have to create all of your training and content from scratch while you’re designing your program; Appic Softwares has some excellent writers and content that can spice things up.
From November until December
Deals that seem too good to be true abound around the end of the year, as dishonest retailers attempt to take advantage of the holiday season. Informing people about these dangers can encourage them to continue taking precautions online. Remind them to be cautious when visiting unfamiliar websites and to always check their email for phishing scams.
Recall: Cybersecurity Being aware extends beyond your coworkers.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are two communities to take into account when creating your annual awareness program, in addition to your colleagues: the supply chain and directors, or non-executive management.
It is common for awareness programs to exclude this demographic. This occurs for a variety of reasons, some of which may be historical or simply the result of people not wanting to “bother” them. These two are errors!
Regulators are increasingly expecting non-executive management to have a high level of cybersecurity knowledge, so be sure to include them in your awareness campaigns. Asking to attend a meeting in brief to find out what cybersecurity education they would like is also a great idea.
Your network of suppliers
Including your third-party supply chain in your cybersecurity awareness may sound strange, but this is a trend that is becoming more and more common. Organizations are posing the following queries to smaller suppliers who might not have the necessary degree of cybersecurity maturity:
- What additional services can the awareness team provide to the conventional third-party risk management program?
- Is it possible for the supplier to obtain access to the organization’s awareness training so they can increase the level of security behaviors among their employees?
- Could the supplier leverage the resources offered by the Global Cyber Alliance or the Cyber Readiness Institute on an organizational level?
We guarantee a proactive approach to cybersecurity awareness with our 2024 monthly guide. By putting the finest practices and insights into practice all year long, you can strengthen your online security and digital defenses.
Appic Softwares is a fantastic option if you’re searching for an e-commerce development firm to assist you with the development of a mobile app. Our skilled development team is here to assist you with any and all of your needs.
So why are you being so circumspect?