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4 Ways to Protect Your Neck Beyond National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Oct 26, 2022
Kenna Security

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“Watch your step, kid. Protect your neck, kid.” It was 1993 when the Wu-Tang Clan released one of their biggest hits and even though they didn’t realize it at the time, this iconic East Coast hip hop group predicted the reality for the cybersecurity landscape three decades later.

Unpredictability has become the new norm and preparedness is the new black. But how prepared are we? A surprising 86% of organizations believe they follow best practices for security hygiene and posture management, yet 70% report that hygiene has become increasingly difficult to manage. In one study, a mere 40% of employees were able to pass a cyber hygiene assessment. It seems there is still work to be done. 

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collective industry effort to fortify defenses against increasing threats, but this initiative can seem nebulous and undefined for many who want to improve their cyber hygiene but don’t know where to begin. That’s why we’re highlighting four key ways you can take action to safeguard your environment and lay the groundwork for a more hygienic workplace, this month and beyond.  

Mike Storm, Cybersecurity Distinguished Engineer at Cisco, unpacks these best practices in a four-part series in the Unhackable podcast (with a frankly epic intro) that individuals can utilize to protect both their enterprise and personal assets at home. Let’s unpack four tips to help maintain your cybersecurity awareness momentum and protect your neck in the age of unpredictability:

Beef up verification

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a critical first step for every individual and business to implement to ensure stronger data protection. Adding two or more identity verification steps  to access an account and verify user trust creates additional hurdles for attackers looking to gain access to your assets.MFA is a core function of successful zero-trust security models and should be utilized in any cyber context. 

Listen to Using Multi-Factor Authentication to learn how to most effectively set-up MFA on your accounts. 

Scramble passwords

Exactly what constitutes a complex password is often up for debate. Too many times, people stick to the same core passwords and throw in a special character or additional number when prompted. The emergence of password management platforms are helping establish healthier cybersecurity hygiene across the board, but this popular attack vector can’t be left up to your dog’s birthday or your computer’s password generator. A handful of common best practices and the reasoning behind them must be stressed for individuals and employees to really start owning their piece of organizational security, especially when compromised credentials are one of the top causes of data breaches. 

Find out what to look for in a password manager in this episode

Go phishing

Phishing attacks are at an all-time high, with three times as many attacks as there were less than two years ago. The good news is, human intelligence is the best defense against phishing. More organizations are stressing the importance of building up cybersecurity savvy in their workforce. Traditional tactics like oversimplified annual security trainings are falling by the wayside in lieu of more frequent learning moments that emphasize hands-on experiences that reward engaged employees. 

Unhackable’s Phishing episode outlines what to look out for in popular types of phishing, how to defeat them, and how to defend the global community. 

Get the latest

Vendor patches are one of the simplest and most effective ways to eliminate inroads for attackers looking for low hanging fruit. And while we all can fall victim to the siren song of the “Remind Me Later” button, it’s important to know what’s at stake when you do. Or even worse, when a fake update warning flashes across your screen that could spell doom for your system. 

In the final episode dedicated to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Storm drops some shocking stats that will make you think twice about snoozing a system update. 

More ways to protect your neck

Podcasts are a digestible and efficient way to stay up to date with best practices and hot topics beyond awareness month. Here are five of Cisco’s cybersecurity casts you don’t want to sleep on:

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond

2022’s campaign theme — “See Yourself in Cyber”—  is really all about the people of cybersecurity. Protecting your organization’s assets is crucial, but what about your own? See yourself maintaining security hygiene both in the workplace and at home. See yourself as part of the solution. 

Learn more about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and discover how you can take part.  

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