While it feels like we just launched CISA’s new enduring Cybersecurity Awareness Program, we are now wrapping up the second week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month with the shared theme of Secure Our World. Inviting our international partners to amplify these awareness efforts to start a world-wide public cybersecurity movement seems particularly salient as I prepare to join so many of our partners at Singapore International Cyber Week.
CISA partners from around the globe will be traveling to the event and, like me, will use smart phones, tablets, and other connected devices for almost everything they do. From arranging rides to and from airports, paying for meals, checking in for flights and staying in touch with colleagues, friends, and loved ones, we stay connected and online constantly. At home and abroad, we rely on a safe and secure digital world, and we expect our connected devices to work when we need them.
This seems like the perfect time to double-down on working together across international boundaries to drive behaviors that can significantly improve online safety and security, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world.
As cyber threats become more sophisticated, we all have an important role to play in keeping our digital world safe and secure. Working together, let us spread the word to give everyone the knowledge and tools they need to:
- Use strong passwords and a password manager. Strong passwords mean long, random, and unique to each account. The easiest way to do this is by using a password manager to generate passwords and to save them.
- Turn on multifactor authentication on all accounts that offer it. We need more than a password on our most important accounts, like email, financial accounts, online shopping, and of course social media.
- Recognize and report phishing—as we like to say, think before you click. Be cautious of unsolicited emails or texts or calls asking you for personal information. Resist the urge to click on these links and do not click on links or open attachments from unknown sources.
- Update software: In fact, enable automatic updates on software so the latest security patches keep devices we are connected to continuously up to date.
With CISA’s new enduring program, Secure Our World, we are also expanding our cybersecurity awareness focus beyond October so that these mutually beneficial conversations will continue throughout the other 11 months of the year—conversations that empower individuals and families; small and medium-sized businesses; technology manufacturers; among others, to create new cyber secure habits that extend our lines of defense to our homes, our communities, our places of work, and everywhere in between.
For individuals and families, the Secure Our World program emphasizes the importance of securing personal accounts, offering guidance on personal device safety, safe internet browsing practices, social media usage, and protecting personal information online.
Because small and medium-sized businesses face unique challenges, we are working to help them Secure Our World by offering tools and resources that can help keep their businesses, employees, customers, and, ultimately, our communities safer.
Tech manufacturers can Secure Our World by implementing security features built-in by design. Default settings should automatically protect against the most prevalent threats and vulnerabilities, without end-users having to take additional steps. Individuals should manually bypass security features if they do not want them. Users should not have to opt-in for necessary security measures to make their products safe to use. Products should be safe for end users right out of the box.
To make it easy to get the word out, we released the first ever CISA Public Service Announcement and created a host of other easy to use resources, including a Partner Toolkit. Many of these resources will be offered in multiple languages and can be tailored for different international audiences.
CISA’s foundation is built on a voluntary partnership model, and our partners mean everything to our mission and our shared success. Please visit our webpage to find out more about becoming a Cybersecurity Awareness Month partner. We look forward to working with you to Secure Our World throughout the rest of the year, too.
Read the story here.