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Protecting Your Organization Against Cyberattack

October 4, 2023 Network Solutions

cybersecurity awareness month awareness

Cybersecurity Awareness Month, often referred to as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the United States, is an annual campaign that takes place in October to raise awareness about cybersecurity and promote good cybersecurity practices among individuals, businesses, and organizations.

The campaign typically involves various activities, events, and initiatives organized by government agencies, educational institutions, cybersecurity professionals, and private sector organizations. These activities aim to educate people about the importance of cybersecurity and provide them with information and resources to protect themselves and their digital assets from cyber threats.

Throughout Cybersecurity Awareness Month, topics such as online safety, data protection, password security, phishing awareness, and the importance of keeping software and systems up to date are highlighted. The campaign also encourages individuals and organizations to take steps to enhance their cybersecurity posture, such as conducting security assessments, implementing strong security measures, and staying informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month serves as a reminder that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a role to play in safeguarding the digital landscape. It helps empower individuals and organizations to be more vigilant and proactive in protecting their digital lives and assets from cyberattacks and data breaches.


Improving cybersecurity and reducing the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks involves a combination of good practices, awareness, and vigilance. Here are some key things that individuals and organizations can do to enhance their cybersecurity:

Use Strong, Unique Passwords:
  • Create strong, complex passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Use different passwords for each online account.
  • Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and store passwords securely.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
  • Whenever possible, enable MFA or 2FA on your accounts.
  • MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to provide a second form of verification, such as a one-time code sent to your mobile device.
Keep Software and Systems Updated:
  • Regularly update operating systems, software applications, and antivirus/antimalware programs.
  • Cybercriminals often target known vulnerabilities in outdated software.
Beware of Phishing Attempts:
  • Be cautious about clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • Verify the legitimacy of emails or messages before taking action.
Educate Yourself:
  • Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and trends.
  • Understand common attack methods like phishing, ransomware, and social engineering.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network:
  • Change default router passwords.
  • Use strong encryption (WPA3) and a strong Wi-Fi network password.
  • Disable remote administration.
Back Up Data Regularly:
  • Regularly back up important data to an external or cloud-based storage.
  • Ensure backups are secure and regularly test their restoration process.
Implement Network Security Measures:
  • Use a firewall to protect your network from unauthorized access.
  • Consider using intrusion detection and prevention systems.
Secure Your Devices:
  • Use security software on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Enable device encryption if available.
Limit Access Privileges:
  • Restrict user access to sensitive data and systems to only those who need it.
  • Implement the principle of least privilege (POLP).
Dispose of Data Securely:
  • Shred physical documents with sensitive information before discarding.
  • Properly wipe and dispose of old electronic devices.
Be Cautious on Social Media:
  • Limit the amount of personal information you share online.
  • Be cautious about accepting friend or connection requests from unknown individuals.
Regularly Monitor Financial and Online Accounts:
  • Review your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions.
  • Monitor your online accounts for unusual activity.
Have an Incident Response Plan:
  • Prepare for the possibility of a cybersecurity incident by having a plan in place to respond effectively if an attack occurs.
Employee Training and Awareness:
  • In organizations, provide cybersecurity training and awareness programs for employees.
  • Encourage a culture of security and reporting.
Patch and Update IoT Devices:
  • Secure Internet of Things (IoT) devices by applying firmware updates and changing default passwords.
Encrypt Sensitive Data:
  • Encrypt sensitive data in storage and during transmission.
Consider Cybersecurity Insurance:
    • Depending on your needs, consider cybersecurity insurance to mitigate financial risks associated with cyberattacks.

Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and it requires constant vigilance. Cyberthreats are constantly evolving, so staying informed and proactive is key to reducing the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

Cisco takes various measures and offers products and services to improve cybersecurity.

Cisco has designed its security products to function as an integrated ecosystem, rather than isolated solutions. When combined, they offer a comprehensive and coordinated defense against threats. Here's an overview of how these products interplay to provide robust protection to customers:

  1. Unified Visibility with SecureX: Cisco's SecureX platform integrates security products across the Cisco portfolio and third-party solutions. It centralizes visibility, enabling security teams to detect threats faster and orchestrate automated responses.
  2. Threat Intelligence with Talos: Cisco Talos provides real-time threat intelligence to multiple Cisco security products. For instance, if Talos identifies a new threat, Cisco Secure Email and Secure Web Gateway can immediately begin blocking related malicious URLs or emails.
  3. Endpoint to Network Protection: Cisco Secure Endpoint can detect a threat on an endpoint device. If it finds something malicious, it can relay this information to the Cisco Secure Firewall to block the related traffic or quarantine the affected device.
  4. Identity and Access Management: Cisco ISE ensures only authorized devices and users get access to the network. If a device behaves suspiciously, ISE can work with Secure Network Analytics to assess the risk and, if needed, limit or cut off the device's network access.
  5. Multi-Factor Authentication: Secure Access by Duo verifies user identities before they access critical resources. This integrates seamlessly with VPN solutions like AnyConnect, adding an extra layer of authentication before granting remote access.
  6. Cloud Security Integration: As businesses move to the cloud, solutions like Cisco Umbrella (a cloud security platform) provide protection for users wherever they are, integrating with other tools to block malicious domains and filter web traffic.
  7. Automated Workflows: Through SecureX, security teams can automate workflows across products. For example, if Secure Email detects a phishing attempt, SecureX can automatically initiate a threat hunt using Secure Endpoint and Secure Network Analytics.
  8. SD-WAN Security: Cisco's SD-WAN solutions are designed with security as a cornerstone. They integrate with other Cisco security products to provide consistent policy enforcement, threat protection, and secure connectivity across branch locations.
  9. Continuous Training & Updates: As threats evolve, so does Cisco's approach. Regular updates, informed by Cisco's research teams and global threat intelligence, ensure that all integrated solutions are equipped with the latest defenses.

In essence, Cisco's security products are built to work together, sharing intelligence, and automating responses. This interconnected approach ensures that if one product detects a threat, the entire security infrastructure can adapt, respond, and protect against it. This "defense-in-depth" strategy offers multiple layers of protection, reducing the risk of breaches and minimizing potential damage if a threat does penetrate.

It's worth noting that the cybersecurity landscape is ever-evolving, and so are Cisco's offerings. The company continues to invest and innovate in new technologies and acquisitions to stay at the forefront of network and cybersecurity.

Cisco's commitment to cybersecurity is reflected in its continuous development of innovative security solutions and its efforts to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. These efforts aim to help organizations protect their digital assets and maintain a strong security posture in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.

If you'd like to learn more about cybersecurity, or any other business technology solution contact Network Solutions!  Schedule a Consultation

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