How are you celebrating Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
It’s no exaggeration to say that digital disruption has reshaped and reinvented nearly every major industry during the last few decades. From finance to healthcare, manufacturing to transportation, the modern world is more dependent than ever on data. Naturally, safeguarding that data — and the organizations that rely on it — is absolutely vital.
Now is a perfect time to focus on the latest advances in strategies and technologies designed to improve your cybersecurity posture as individuals and organizations in the U.S. and Europe mark their respective holidays for improving cybersecurity.
Now in its 17th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an initiative led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, intended to raise awareness about cyberthreats and the strategies we can take to protect our systems and sensitive data.
At the same time, October 2020 is the ninth anniversary of European Cybersecurity Month — the European Union’s annual campaign dedicated to promoting cybersecurity and sharing best practices around the topic of staying protected online.
Here at Acronis, every month is cybersecurity awareness month. But this October, let’s look at the current cybersecurity landscape — and take proactive steps to enhance our protection online.
Why cybersecurity matters
Cyberthreats are some of the biggest concerns among IT managers and organizational professionals. Security incidents and data breaches can cause direct economic loss through interruptions in business continuity and destruction of sensitive information — as well as less-direct losses via reputational damage and regulatory sanctions. Even physical infrastructures can be disrupted or destroyed through cybercrime.
Of course, it’s not only businesses that need to be concerned with staying protected online. Individuals rely on computer systems just as much as large corporations do, and store private data on personal devices and in the cloud. The leaking of sensitive information — like social security numbers, credit card details, and bank statements — can lead to identity theft and open victims up to ransom demands.
As personally-identifiable information (PII) is increasingly stored online, information theft is both dangerous and widespread. Cybercriminals are frequently changing tactics, and their ability to attack targets outside their jurisdiction can make policing this activity tough. That’s why taking measures to protect data and devices is simply not optional.
The evolution of cybersecurity
In the modern world, technology changes quickly. And the cyberthreat landscape is considerably different today than it was during the first National Cybersecurity Awareness Month back in 2004. Most small and medium businesses (SMBs) are now reliant on the web, and there are several times more internet-connected devices than there are people on this planet.
In fact, the world’s data stores are doubling every two years, posing significant cost and logistical challenges around storage and security. At the same time, cybercriminals are taking advantage of advances in processing power and AI to industrialize and personalize malware attacks. With unprecedented ability to compromise vast quantities of sensitive data, zero-day vulnerabilities pose a greater threat with every passing day.
Internet-enabled threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with malicious actors sidestepping or even targeting traditional defenses — directly modifying victims’ operating systems in fileless attacks, for instance, or striking at data backups. This shift has necessitated thinking in terms not simply of cybersecurity, but of cyber protection — the intersection of cybersecurity and data protection.
Advancing from cybersecurity to cyber protection
By layering proactive, active, and reactive techniques, cyber protection combines best practices from the worlds of data protection and cybersecurity in a comprehensive, integrated approach:
- Proactive measures, such as automated backups, vulnerability assessments, and patch management, limit your exposure to cyberthreats.
- Active measures, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and antimalware monitoring of endpoints and backups, allow you to prevent threats from causing damage.
- Reactive measures, such as disaster recovery and forensic investigation tools, allow you to respond to attacks and take steps to maintain business continuity.
Against modern cyberthreats, standalone backup and cybersecurity solutions are no longer up to the challenge, and juggling multiple solutions that aren't integrated is more complex to manage, more costly to maintain, and less secure because the lack of integration creates gaps in your defenses.
Just as modern cyberthreats evolve, so must approaches to cybersecurity. The emergence of comprehensive cyber protection — which IDC highlights as the new IT discipline and “key to mitigating risk” — is the next step forward for cybersecurity.
Celebrating cybersecurity at the Acronis Global Cyber Summit
The challenges ahead are real, but continuous innovation of both strategies and solutions are helping to get us all #CyberFit.
Given the challenges of 2020, however, where can one learn about those advances? Thankfully, October is also when the largest gathering of cyber protection professionals is held: Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020.
This year’s Summit, which is happening October 19–21, is being offered as a free, three-day virtual conference. Featuring keynote speeches from cybersecurity experts and thought leaders, the Summit is designed to deliver practical insights and lessons learned from leading cybersecurity and tech experts. There are more than 30 sessions across four conference tracks, with each track being tailored to service providers and resellers, enterprise IT professionals, developers and ISVs, and sales and marketing teams.
To view the agenda or to register, visit https://acronis.events/summit2020.
Given how much we rely on data today, the importance has never been greater for everyone — individuals and organizations alike — to be aware of the threats that exist and how to ensure their cybersecurity. So whether you’re in the U.S. or the E.U., the annual October reminder of cybersecurity is an important occasion.