• Dominique

Happy National Cybersecurity Awareness Month!!

Happy October Everyone!

Can't believe we are almost to the end of the year - I am so not ready for the holidays yet. If you are caught up on the podcast then you know I took a break towards the middle of September as I was transitioning jobs, getting some things together and went on vacation for my birthday (#LibraGang!)

I have the greatest friends and family in the world, who were agile with me as the pandemic derailed my big trip to Bali I had planned. As upset as I wanted to be, I am grateful to even experience reaching 30 and the fact that my closest friends and family went through hoops with me to celebrate, safely of course, in jamaica.

Alright, alright enough about me, let's get into today's post. As you can tell from the title, we are officially in October which launches the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't bring this awareness to my podcast listeners - you know I am all about security awareness and learning.

If you aren't familiar - held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online while increasing the resilience of the Nation against cyber threats. It isn't only celebrated here in the US, as the European Union also holds an annual campaign dedicated to promoting cybersecurity among EU citizens and organizations, as well as Canada, Australia and many others.

Each year there is a theme that the month follows, and this years theme is: 'Do Your Part'. #BeCyberSmart. This theme encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity. Basically they are trying to say if you connect it, protect it - and their sub themes, which I will go over in a second, emphasizes the sobering fact that every device, we as consumers have, is connected to the internet in some way. A quick internet search showed the current statistics of where we are:

  • By 2022, Google Home will be the largest IoT device on the market, with almost 48%

  • The average number of connected devices this year is about 50 (and mind you this is pre-pandemic numbers)

  • By next year, 2021, there will be 35 billion IoT devices installed around the world

And honestly, I can't be surprised by these numbers because when I think of the average home that has more than one person living in it, think of your phone, your personal computer and work computer, an ipad by you and if you have kids. If you are a person who loves smart devices like smart tvs in each rooms, smart lights, maybe an alexa or google home or two, all of those add up and increase how many devices are on your network. So no, I am not surprised at all. And we haven't even reached full capacity for 5G networks, nor smart cities so I won't be surprised if we hit a trillion before the end of the next decade.

Back to cybersecurity awareness month, there are 4 sub themes for this month, one for each week not counting the kickoff week happening today and tomorrow. I plan to release an episode each week coinciding with each of the following themes, so be sure to follow along and share with your family and colleagues on how we can all be more security aware and own our protection. For the week of october 5, week one, the theme is if you connect it, protect it. According to the stay safe online website this theme is about the lines that have now been blurred between our online and offline selves. This week will highlight the ways in which internet-connected devices have impacted our lives and how users can empower themselves in security by taking steps to reduce their risk. While I have briefly talked about IoT devices before, in this episode I will deep dive on what IoT really means, why you should care and some simple tips to stay protected.

Week 2 is all about securing devices at home and work. 2020 saw a major disruption in the way many work, learn, and socialize online. With more people now working from home, the home and work environment has now merged into one introducing a whole new set of potential vulnerabilities that the average user isn't conscious of and security teams have never had to deal with. During this episode you can expect for me to focus on educating you on the types of vulnerabilities and threats you may face at home and steps you can take to make sure you are keeping your work/home environment safe.

Week 3 is all about security internet-connected devices in healthcare. And this one is super timely as Apple just announced their new apple watch Series 6 has expanded health measurements, including blood oxygen saturation on top of the other health features they have built into their devices. While I am sure these features are super cool and helpful to those who want to track things like that, it also opens the door for more ways for your health information to be collected, processed, stored and captured in ways that hasn't been done so traditionally. The healthcare industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to help improve patient care, organizational efficiency, the speed to which first responders can respond to a crisis. And while this industry is in major need of a technological overhaul, this shift also exposes the industry to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals regularly attempt to exploit. So this week we will dive into some healthcare statistics and implications of internet-connected device use on healthcare and what you can do about it.

And lastly, we will wrap up the last week of the month by looking at the sub theme of the of the future of connected devices. This will include things like new innovations like 5G, how these new innovations will impact consumers and businesses, and how people and infrastructure can adapt to this continuous evolution to partake in safely. Because as the national cybersecurity alliance says: every users needs to be empowered to do their part and you know the motto here at security in color is that security is for everyone. I am all about accessibility and I myself am still learning as technology involves.

So I am super excited to bring you on this month long journey and if you are a cybersecurity professional, I highly encourage you to share this information at work, school and with family and friends as part of your security awareness program. I will still be bringing you the cybersecurity news, so don't worry about that - I am working overtime but I think this information is important and more than happy to share in any way I can.

Happy Cybersecurity Awareness month and I will see you next week for your weekly news and our theme: if you connect it, protect it. Listen to the episode below and See you next time!

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