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Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber sector news

04:00 Thursday, 30 September 2021

UK Cyber Security Council

Cyber Security Awareness Month started in the US in 2004, as a joint initiative between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Since then, it has become a global 'event’, with October the month in which governments and cyber-focused organisations do what they can to promote cyber security awareness.

Should we have a special month for cyber awareness? Or does it detract from the message that tell us all we need to be vigilant and aware all year round? The answers to those questions are “yes” and “no” respectively.

True: we all need to concentrate throughout the year. But one month of particular focus gives the opportunity to do more; to do something a bit different. To work with other agencies and organisations that we wouldn’t normally associate with, because they’re also spending a few weeks doing something a bit out of the ordinary. And, as a result, they’re more open to people getting in touch.

To be fair, we must also acknowledge that year-round awareness regimes can induce “security fatigue”. Picking a month in which we can do something different and break out of the routine can only be a good thing.

Of course, October will see a plethora of security vendors taking the opportunity to shout much more loudly and widely about their products and about how they can solve all our security needs. But perhaps that‘s a good thing for our organisations because many of the small, new bleeding-edge vendors that can’t afford year-round ad campaigns can often find a few pounds down the back of the sofa to do some marketing and PR for three or four weeks in October.

Perhaps the main benefit of Cyber Security Awareness Month is that we will see new resources made available, from both commercial and other sources, to help the cyber sector raise awareness of cyber security issues - during this month but also beyond.