National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2018: Key Talking Points

Philip Robinson by   10.04.2018   Data Security

This month is the 14th National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the USA. The NCSAM began as part of a joint campaign by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security to help bring to light key issues in the cybersecurity space.

This year the focus has been on the continued role and responsibility that organizations have to secure customer and employee data – a role that should be shared across all levels of the organization.

2018 so far has seen a plethora of high profile and hugely damaging data breaches, with millions of consumers affected and billions of dollars’ worth of damages incurred. Cybersecurity spending reflects this landscape, according to Forbes, as it could reach as high as $66 billion by the end of the year. As was the case last year, the top concern for organizations in 2018 was the insider threat – that is, how your own users are interacting with your sensitive data.

Let’s take a look at some of the key areas that this month’s NCSAM is going to focus on.

Cybersecurity is a Concern for Everyone

As cybersecurity becomes less of an “IT” concern and more of an “everyone” concern, the requirement for more stringent and regular training on the subject becomes more of a pressing topic. Generally, there simply isn’t enough public awareness of modern cybersecurity threats and, as a result, the majority of data breaches still occur through human error.

Treating Cybersecurity Like Physical Security

Parents are being urged to teach their children how to be safe online and stay clear of obvious cybersecurity threats, such as phishing emails and ransomware attacks. As a parent, it’s highly likely that you’re teaching your kids how unsafe it is to cross the road without looking twice or how they should never get into a stranger’s car. However, when it comes to the cyber-world, we often leave our kids to their own devices and neglect teaching them about the potential dangers on the internet.

It’s normal now for kids as young as six to have their own smartphone or tablet device with access to the internet. Many children regularly stream movies, tv shows and music through to such devices. Whilst this will lead to a more tech-savvy generation, still not enough is being done to teach kids about safe cybersecurity practices when they are browsing online.

The Education Shortage Extends to Businesses

It’s not just consumers that need to pay closer attention to cybersecurity education, organizations of all sizes are also struggling. Almost 70% of businesses say that they are under-resourced and that they cannot find employees with the right cybersecurity skills.

It’s likely that the answer to this problem, at least for the short term, lies with vendors providing automated security solutions. In fact, machine learning and artificial intelligence are predicted to be huge factors in how organizations can tackle the ever evolving threats to their infrastructure and data. Gartner predicts that data-centric audit & protection (DCAP) solutions are likely to offer the widest range of the most relevant features to overcome this cybersecurity education gap that organizations are facing.

Essentially, this month’s NCSAM is all about education and creating the mindset that cybersecurity is a universal problem that can only be addressed together, not individually. Most external threats to cybersecurity can be mitigated through education, and insider threats can be addressed with the right combination of training and third-party solutions.

Enjoy this month’s NCSAM!