It’s the first day of October, which marks the beginning of Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021! Cyber Awareness is more important than ever as we conduct business in a very different fashion to how we did pre-2019. The two themes for this year’s European Cyber Security Awareness Month (ECSM2021) campaign are:
- First aid, guidelines on what to do should you fall a victim to a cyber attack
- Being cyber secure at home
What’s in store Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021
Over the course of this month, we will be sharing some quick tips that organisations can employ to encourage their teams to become more cyber aware as well as key prevention tools and methods which can be applied. Our mission this month is to re-emphasise the importance of being cyber aware – wherever you’re working – from home, or in the office.
Over the past 2 years, we have experienced an exceptional rate of digital transformation with the pandemic being a clear catalyst. With this dramatic shift, many organisational and operational measures were put on the back-burner, this unfortunately included cyber security. Whilst business decision makers saw themselves making drop-of-the-hat choices in the frantic switch to the remote workplace, cyber security criminals seized the opportunity to take advantage on our increased, less secure online activity. Organisations had less control over sensitive data with employees having to utilise personal devices, un-secure WIFI and insufficient or sometimes non-existent password management.
Without wanting to speak too soon, we are now seeing workplaces settle to a new form of normality with many businesses adopting a ‘hybrid’ approach to working, with it unlikely that businesses will operate in the same way as pre-COVID times. A recent survey carried out by YouGov for the BBC, suggests that 79% of senior business leaders and 70% of the general public believe that workers will never return to offices at the same rate as before the pandemic. With this ‘new norm’ in working, it is important for business leaders to regain their focus on cyber security practices.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s kick start Cyber Security Awareness month by running through a few quick steps businesses can take to help their employees take on a cyber aware approach to their new work style.
4 Quick Wins for Cyber Security Awareness in Hybrid working
It is important you recognise the crucial role your employees play in your cyber security strategy and to recognise the shared responsibility that comes with cyber security.
An employee is the first and most vulnerable layer of defence in an organisation. Automatically with remote working, users have been seen to become more vulnerable; the mixture of comfort and homely environment can result in bad habits creeping in. This was demonstrated with the rise in phishing techniques targeting users both in their personal lives such as online shopping scams and impersonating trustworthy sources such as GOV.UK as well as increased targeting of vulnerable remote businesses users.
In a bid to prevent human error taking such a pole position in cyber breaches, organisations should strive to implement and build a culture which is security driven and one which is enables employees to feel comfortable in speaking up and being confident of how to report a breach if they believe one may have occurred due to human error. Four simple steps your organisation can implement are:
- Regular Cyber Security Awareness training
- Checklist and policies distributed with the minimum requirements and the best practices for home working
- Regular reminders of password updates and password management practices
- Reminding your employees of the importance of secure frequent backups
A security driven culture should influence employees to feel more of a personal role to play in their organisation’s cyber security. An alarming 90% of security incidents are caused by human error, awareness, education and guidance all play a key part in helping your employees to be cyber smart.
If you have any questions about promoting or maintaining cyber awareness in your workplace, or you’re interested in gaining your Cyber Essentials accreditation or regular Cyber Awareness Training for your employees as well as any other cyber security related questions – the MFG team are on hand to help.
Contact the Cyber Team at MFG (Part of the Air IT Group) today. Call 0118 914 8800 (opt 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month!