From the jobs we do every day to the lives we lead outside work, the internet is rooted in almost everything we do. COVID-19 has shown us that we depend on it in more ways than we ever thought we would.
But our reliance on technology makes us vulnerable. Cybercriminals are finding new ways to disrupt our lives, commit fraud and threaten our critical infrastructure.
That is why Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed October Cybersecurity Awareness Month – to help us all learn and be reminded of simple ways we can protect not only ourselves but also our organizations, the state network and the data our organizations maintain.
This year’s theme – See Yourself in Cyber – demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, ultimately, it is really all about people.
Whether you are already working in cybersecurity, or you are a vendor or supplier, an infrastructure owner or operator, a student, a job seeker or an individual who uses the internet for work, school or entertainment, we all have a role to play in strengthening the cybersecurity of our state and nation.
For individuals and families, See Yourself in Cyber means taking action to stay safe online by making smart decisions and practicing good cybersecurity habits – behaviors that can make a huge difference, such as:
- Updating your software and keeping it up to date
- Recognizing and reporting phishing by thinking before you click
- Using good, strong and unique passwords
- Enabling multifactor authentication on sensitive accounts
For some, See Yourself in Cyber means joining the cyber workforce. According to Cyber Seek, an initiative funded by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, there are more than 24,00 vacant cyber-related positions in North Carolina. Nationally, that number tops more than 714,500.
For partners in industry, See Yourself in Cyber means working together to build a more secure and resilient technology ecosystem. This means putting operational collaboration into practice, working together to share information in real-time and reducing risk and building resilience from the start to protect North Carolina’s critical infrastructure and the systems that we rely on every day.
For more information, tips and guidance on staying safe online, visit https://it.nc.gov/CyberSecureNC.
No one is immune from cybercrime, but education and mindfulness are the best ways to help avoid becoming a victim.
Making North Carolina safer involves increasing personal levels of cyber awareness – knowing not to click links in suspicious emails, recognizing the signs of online scams and protecting sensitive and confidential information.
We must evolve in the way we think about cybersecurity in both our personal and professional lives. Cybersecurity and privacy must be at the foundation of all we do.