Launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October 2004, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has become an annual event where good IT security practice is promoted – and that benefits everyone, whether at home or at work.

After the disruption of 2020 and the wholesale switch to remote working, organizations have had to dedicate themselves to maintaining their network security. In fact, according to a recent CNBC broadcast, a survey of CFOs revealed that businesses have spent up to 90 percent more on cybersecurity than they did last year. This greater spending has yielded positive results, with 70 percent saying that their networks are now much better protected than they were previously. Result!

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month all about?

The theme for October 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart”. This is intended to empower individuals and organizations to play their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. The thinking is that if everyone “does their part” by implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences and/or training employees – then our online spaces will be safer and our personal and business technology will be much more secure.

Four topics of awareness

For each week throughout October, there’s a different theme to focus attention on the various aspects of cybersecurity. Week 1 looks at general cybersecurity hygiene, including creating strong passwords and backing up data. Week 2 aims to raise awareness of different methods of phishing (texts, emails, chats), while Week 3 explores the opportunities offered by cybersecurity careers across the board, for both students and career changers.

Finally, Week 4 is all about making security a priority. On a personal level, this means keeping secure practices in mind as you use your own devices – and for businesses, this emphasizes the need to ensure all company products and processes are as secure as they can be.

Further reading