Looking Beyond Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October has been dedicated to Cybersecurity Awareness Month every year since 2004. However, as this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to an end, your Data Evolution experts are here to remind you that cybersecurity matters every day.

Join us as we review why Cybersecurity Awareness Month matters and how we can look beyond this month to practice cybersecurity in our daily lives.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month through the years

2021 is the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This awareness month was first launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004. Now, it is co-led and organized each year by the NCSA and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Then & Now

Cybersecurity Awareness Month began as a small movement dedicated to educating the public about safely navigating the relatively new cyber landscape. Cyber threats at that time were much more directly targeted, and cybersecurity primarily dealt with updating your antivirus and firewall.

The cyber landscape has changed over the years. Threats now cast a much wider net and are often harder to detect and resolve. Social engineering has also become a more significant danger to your personal and professional cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021

While the cyber landscape is constantly changing, one thing remains the same: cybersecurity has always focused on protecting your personal property, intellectual property, and financial property. This statement is true for both businesses and individuals.

To support this focus, the theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 was “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” According to the CISA, this theme empowers individuals and organizations to “own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.”

Why cybersecurity matters for biotechs and other companies

While it is true that cybersecurity is vital for everyone, organizations in the biotech vertical especially need to take cybersecurity seriously.

  • Life science companies often have protected secrets that could be vulnerable. Having your intellectual property stolen or held ransom could be devastating for your business and work, especially in the pre-clinical, pre-product, or pre-patent stages.
  • Biotechs are typically seed-funded or venture-backed, depending on if you’re a startup or an established organization. Any threat to your finances is also a threat to your investors and the livelihood of your employees.
  • Competition is fierce in the world of scientific research. Corporate espionage can occur through current and past employees as well as other biotechs, making it necessary for your organization to invest in cybersecurity.

Every organization is different in size, scale, and appetite, but it is crucial to ensure that you at least have basic cybersecurity measures in place. Talk to your IT partner about a cybersecurity plan that aligns with your specific needs.

How you can do your part to #BeCyberSmart

Today, cybersecurity is about more than keeping up with the latest software & technology, especially as threats become more advanced and widespread. Businesses and individuals alike need to practice the Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 theme: “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

As an individual, here are a few ways you can own your role in making our interconnected world safer for everyone:

  • Always install the latest operating system updates for your technology
  • Run antivirus and antimalware programs, whether you use free or built-in versions, or you invest in more advanced paid programs
  • Stay informed about the warning signs of social engineering threats, such as phishing emails, scam phone calls, and more
  • Open conversations to help inform others, including kids, friends, parents, and people in your community, especially those who are not as tech-savvy

If you are part of a business, here are a few ways you can protect your organization:

  • Engage with your IT partner or department to ensure you are taking all possible cybersecurity measures. It is critical to be aware of what your IT partner is doing for you.
  • Ensure you are not just using “set and forget” or reactionary cybersecurity methods but also engaging in proactive monitoring. Do you know who is responding to system alerts?
  • Educate your employees to stop and think before they click, making awareness central to your company culture. Try using company meetings or investing in a training program.
  • Speak up right away if you think you may have been compromised, even if you’re not sure. Cybercriminal activity is not always obvious or immediate!

How your IT partner should help you #BeCyberSmart

There are many ways your IT partner can help ensure your cybersecurity. For example, Data Evolution offers a security stack of services to our clients to help them customize a scalable solution for their specific circumstances. These services include:

  • The latest modern antivirus and antimalware protections that use AI technology
  • Systems that leverage DNS filtering
  • Security awareness training program
  • Backup and cloud services

Data Evolution can also provide ongoing IT support or managed computer security, data center monitoring and management, and more. Our team engages in professional networks that help us maintain our expertise in the field and better support your needs.

Having an IT partner is necessary because you need an expert to proactively manage your network infrastructure, interpret alerts, and identify threats. However, while your IT experts are equipped to help you protect your cybersecurity, you should think of it as a team effort.

Cybersecurity threats exist because they are effective and profitable. Countering them requires more than an IT team or department. Your company’s management should also encourage cybersecurity awareness and education, and your employees should practice safety at all times.

Even as Cybersecurity Awareness Month ends, its theme is relevant and applicable throughout the entire year. Are you interested in learning more about how Data Evolution can help you do your part and be cyber smart? Get in touch with us today.