October is a cybersecurity month

October is traditionally the cybersecurity month. The European Union through its institutions runs an annual campaign dedicated to promoting cybersecurity among EU citizens and organisations and to raising cybersecurity awareness. This month, hundreds of activities take place across Europe, including trainings, conferences, webinars and presentations; this year mainly in on-line form. Their goal is to promote digital security and to adopt cyber-hygiene habits.

The campaign is coordinated by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the European Commission. ENISA provides expert suggestions and common information sharing among EU citizens, institutions and public administration. The agency also publishes expert materials and provides expert advice on cybersecurity topics.

Since 2012, when October was designated for the cybersecurity month, the countries of the European Union have been encouraged by the slogan: “Cybersecurity is a Shared Responsibility”. Each year, the campaign promotes particularly the safer use of the Internet.

The official motto of this year’s campaign is “Think Before U Click”. This year again, October will be full of engaging cybersecurity activities.

Main themes of the European Cybersecurity Month

The Cybersecurity Month is divided into two main themes:

Cyber Scams (Weeks 1 & 2: 1-16 October)

The first theme, Cyber Scams, provides insights on current and potential cyber threats to help the general public and institutions apply basic principles of cyber-hygiene, to serve as cyber threat prevention and to minimise risks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in on-line shopping and payments, which has triggered concerns about their security. The campaign activities focus on phishing and on-line shopping fraud. The key message is to be vigilant when conducting on-line transactions.

Digital Skills (Weeks 3 & 4: 17-31 October)

The second theme, Digital Skills, presents educational activities that inform the general public on Internet security. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the digitalisation of everyday life. To be safe also on-line requires to acquire basic cybersecurity skills.

The theme covers privacy matters in cyberspace such as personal data protection, prevention of cyber bullying and cyber stalking. The key message conveys the importance of cyber-hygiene and establishing good practices.

During October, specific topics will be presented as well every week:

   1st week: cybersecurity training for staff,

   2nd week: creating a cybersecurity culture in the work environment,

   3rd week: programming week,

   4th week: clarification of Cloud solutions to the public,

   5th week: Digital Single Market.

The European Network and Information Security Agency will publish reports, organize events and activities such as trainings, presentations and so on, throughout the month.

You can join the campaign on social networks as well, with tags @CyberSecMonth, #CyberSecMonth or #ThinkB4UClick.

Objectives and message

The main message of the European Cybersecurity Month is “Cybersecurity is a Shared Responsibility! STOP. THINK. CONNECT.”

The main objectives of the European Cybersecurity Month include:

  • building general awareness of cybersecurity,
  • building awareness in the field of network and information security,
  • promoting a safe use of the Internet for all users,
  • creating a list of successful security awareness raising activities during the Cybersecurity Month,
  • involvement of relevant institutions in the security awareness raising process,
  • awakening an interest of national media due to the European and global dimension of the project,
  • increasing an interest in cybersecurity through political and media coordination.

Other institutions are also joining forces with the European Network and Information Security Agency in order to raise awareness of dangers in a digital world during the European Cybersecurity Month. During the campaign, they will offer thematic articles and security tips for the European Cybersecurity Month website.

The National Cyber ​​Security Centre SK-CERT (hereinafter referred to as “SK-CERT”) supports the European Cybersecurity Month and will be actively involved in several campaign activities, for example by participating in conferences, or by providing thematic articles and disseminating security and situation awareness.

SK-CERT is also the national coordinator of the European Cybersecurity Month in the Slovak Republic.

All ongoing activities within the Cybersecurity Month can be followed here: https://cybersecuritymonth.eu/countries/slovakia. If you know about any cybersecurity event, you can register it on this website in order to be visible to a wide range of users.

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