October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Are Your Cybersecurity Solutions Really Ensuring Data Protection?


This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), declares October as the month when the public, private, and tribal communities collaborate to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity should be a priority for every organization every day. But now is the time to further your efforts to protect your organization’s data.

CISA’s Four Steps to Stay Safe Online

The CISA site outlines four simple steps everyone can take to stay safe online. The steps apply to every organization, too.

Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager

Far too often, default passwords are left in place, or commonly-used passwords are entered. Cybernews found that the top 10 most common passwords used by people worldwide in 2023 are frighteningly obvious: 123456 was number one, and 1234567890 came in at number 10. Those won’t keep hackers at bay for long. 

CISA recommends using long, random, unique passwords that include all four character types—uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. CISA also notes that password managers are “a powerful tool” that makes storing passwords and user IDs easy.

Employ Multifactor Authentication

Quoting a Microsoft study, CISA points out that implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) can make you 99 percent less likely to get hacked. MFA is a layered approach where users must verify their identity with a combination of two or more authenticators, often a password and mobile text message. 

CISA offers plenty of advice on its website in this article, “Implementing Phishing-Resistant MFA.” That ranges from using FIDO authentication (Fast IDentity Online), what they refer to as the “gold standard” for MFA, to app-based authentication using a one-time password (OTP).

Recognize and Report Phishing

Since phishing is the number one attack vector according to TechTarget, educate everyone in your organization regarding these social engineering emails, texts, and calls. Ensure your people know how to avoid sharing sensitive information, clicking on suspicious links, or downloading potentially infected attachments. And make sure that phishing attempts are reported so your organization can improve its defenses and further educate your people regarding what to watch for. 

Keep Software Up-to-Date

Security patches and updates are often ignored when released by developers. That leaves your organization vulnerable. So, automate software updates wherever possible and regularly check manually for updates where it isn’t available.

Why You Need More Than Cybersecurity

While your cybersecurity defenses are crucial to keeping the bad guys out, there is no silver bullet. All it takes is one employee mistakenly clicking on a malicious link to open the door to hackers. 

That’s why the best ransomware protection—malware and even hardware failure protection, for that matter—demands that you employ data backup solutions that can’t be compromised. Arcserve offers its own multilayered approach to data backup and disaster recovery.

That starts with cybersecurity protection by integrating Sophos Intercept X Advanced for Server into our products. Our products also employ immutable storage for your backups, a write-once-read-many-times format that unauthorized users can’t alter or delete. That means you can count on being able to recover your data, no matter what. 

Learn how Arcserve delivers data resiliency that elevates your cybersecurity strategy in this post.

And be sure to check out our complete line of data protection products here.

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