NETSCOUT Becomes an Official Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion
Celebrating 20 years of Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Every October since 2004, the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) have celebrated Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In recent years, NETSCOUT has joined the ranks of Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion to showcase our commitment to a more secure connected world.
For the 2023 installment of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, there are four central themes, centered around key cybersecurity behaviors:
- Enabling multifactor authentication (MFA)
- Using strong passwords and a password manager
- Updating software
- Recognizing and reporting phishing
Often when we talk about cybersecurity, we talk about technologies such as network detection and response (NDR) or strategies such as zero trust that help protect large organizations. But the most frequent way cyberattackers gain access to your network is via phishing attacks where a single employee makes a mistake and unknowingly gives access to the wrong person. These four themes show how employees can be the first line of defense. Here’s why each of these is so important to protecting the connected world.
Enabling Multifactor Authentication
Enabling MFA is a very effective way to secure your accounts, but just 57 percent of respondents to an NCA survey say they have heard of MFA. Most users who have heard of MFA have deployed it, and an even larger ratio of them are still currently utilizing it to keep their accounts secure. MFA involves having a secondary layer beyond a password to log into an account. This is often a separate verification code sent via text message or email or utilizing a verification application to validate your sign-in attempt. MFA is a simple step to take that can provide an effective extra layer of security for your accounts.
Using Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
As a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion, NETSCOUT is also focusing on the importance of using strong passwords and a secure password manager to keep accounts secure. Strong passwords, paired with MFA, can effectively lock down your accounts. A strong password should be unique to the account and utilize a passphrase of random words that you can relate to, generating a longer password that is more difficult to crack while also mixing in symbols to replace letters to break up easily guessed words. Another tip is to use a secure password manager that leverages a very strong master password. This locks all your strong passwords behind an even stronger password while also allowing you to spare yourself from fully memorizing all those unique codes you have created. This is commonly enforced as a policy in the enterprise setting. Having standards that passwords must meet is a key step in securing sensitive materials in the enterprise environment.
Keeping software up to date is a key step in cybersecurity. Many software patches are done to shore up potential security vulnerabilities, giving you the latest and greatest security measures in your applications. From a nonsecurity standpoint, these updates also help introduce new features, fix bugs, and help the application or program perform more efficiently overall. Just one security vulnerability can lead to an adversary gaining access to all the data you have stored; vulnerabilities can be the gateway to a buffet of data for adversaries. Keeping software up to date is imperative in both personal and professional settings.
Recognizing and Reporting Phishing
The ability to recognize and report phishing is a key skill for cybersecurity awareness. Properly identifying and adequately reporting these attempts per your organization’s policies can have significant positive impacts on your organization by simply keeping the network safe and secure. The unfortunate truth is that phishing works and it isn’t going anywhere, so users need to be more cybersmart and aware of the persistent threat phishing presents.
Cheers to 20 Years
As a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion and longtime supporter of this initiative, NETSCOUT is proud to promote smart cyber practices while providing industry-leading packet-based cybersecurity solutions for enterprise and service-provider networks.