Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021: Tips from the Pros!

Welcome to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2021! In this post, we share some background on this 18th Cybersecurity Awareness Month and some pro tips from two great leaders in cybersecurity, Health-ISAC‘s Chief Security Officer, Errol Weiss, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency‘s Director, Jen Easterly.


On 30 Sep, President Biden shared “A Proclamation on Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2021” stating:

“Our Nation is under a constant and ever-increasing threat from malicious cyber actors.  Ransomware attacks have disrupted hospitals, schools, police departments, fuel pipelines, food suppliers, and small businesses — delaying essential services and putting the lives and livelihoods of Americans at risk.  Any disruption, corruption, or dysfunction of our vital infrastructure can have a debilitating effect on national and economic security, public health, and our everyday safety. 

“Since its inception, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has elevated the central role that cybersecurity plays in our national security and economy.  This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we recommit to doing our part to secure and protect our internet-connected devices, technology, and networks from cyber threats at work, home, school, and anywhere else we connect online.  I encourage all Americans to responsibly protect their sensitive data and improve their cybersecurity awareness by embracing this year’s theme:  “Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart.”

“…During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I ask everyone to “Do Your Part.  Be Cyber Smart.”  All Americans can help increase awareness on cybersecurity best practices to reduce cyber risks.  Whether you are at home, school, or the office — a few simple steps can help keep you and your online data safe and secure.  By limiting the amount of personal information shared online, regularly updating devices and software, and using complex passwords and multifactor authentication methods, our entire Nation will be more resilient against the constant threat of malicious cyber actors. 

“…Through events, training, and education, I call upon the people, businesses, and institutions of the United States to recognize the importance of cybersecurity, to take action to better protect yourselves against cyber threats, and to observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month in support of our national security and resilience.”

Read the complete Proclamation for more.

Perhaps you’re not be sure what it means to be “Cyber Smart” or maybe you’re not sure what tips you can offer your organization, friends or family. Well, worry not! The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been working with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and together, they’re asking all of us: “Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart.” Each week in October focuses on a different aspect of what it takes to “Do Your Part. Be Cyber Smart.”

  • Week 1 (October 4-10): Be Cyber Smart: Take simple actions to keep our digital lives secure.
  • Week 2 (October 11-17): Phight the Phish!: Learn how to spot phishing attempts to prevent ransomware and other malware attacks.
  • Week 3 (October 18-24): Explore. Experience. Share.: During week three of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we will join the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) to celebrate Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. 
  • Week 4 (October 25-31): Cybersecurity First: Explore how cybersecurity and staying safe online is increasingly important as our world continues to operate virtually for so much of work and play.

Pro Tips!

What if you’re looking for some pro tips on ideas you can take for action right now? Health-ISAC‘s Chief Security Officer, Errol Weiss, and the CISA’s Director, Jen Easterly have made some publicly available pro tips for all of us!

On 30 Sep, Errol Weiss shared a video on YouTube titled, “Health-ISAC CSAM Tips and Tricks.” Health-ISAC released the video with the note, “In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month for 2021, the Health-ISAC Chief Security Officer, Errol Weiss, shares some easy-to-implement tips and tricks for keeping your email and other accounts safe. Tips include how and why to use multi-factor authentication.” Check out the video below!

Also on 30 Sep, CISA’s Director, Jen Easterly dropped the “Cyber Code” in a tweet. She offers four actions to take to honor the Cyber Code:

  • Know the cyber threats
  • Live for good cyber hygiene
  • Always aid others
  • Share your knowledge and passion

Jen ends the tweet stating, “It takes all of us to enhance our cybersecurity. #CyberMonth” The tweet, at right, includes a video from CISA, “Surfing the Cyber Code,” which you might enjoy.

Check out Errol’s video and Jen’s tweet, consider how you can help “Do Your Part” and “Be Cyber Smart” this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and think about how you can help others do the same!

Need more help? Subscribe to our free daily paper to have the newest cybersecurity and all-hazards updates delivered right to your inbox each weekday! Want more? Subscribe to our podcasts, check out our blog where we share them, and enjoy all the Gate 15 Podcasts on AnchorAppleSpotifyGoogle, as well as other locations accessible from the Anchor link. Week-to-week, you can hear and learn more about our all-hazards threats, risks, mitigation and other issues impacting homeland security risk management from our team as well as our regular and special guests. The full podcast menu includes:

  • The Risk Roundtable, is a recurring monthly discussion among our team and occasional guests as we explore the all-hazards threats and risks impacting the United States and internationally.
  • The Cybersecurity Evangelist, with Jennifer Lyn Walker, is a cybersecurity-focused discussion with Jen and invited guests.
  • Nerd Out! Security Panel Discussion, moderated by Dave Pounder, focuses on physical security topics including terrorism, extremism, hostile events, and other pertinent topics.
  • The Gate 15 Interview, is a monthly interview between Gate 15’s founder and Managing Director, Andy Jabbour and guests from throughout the homeland security risk management community addressing a wide range of all-hazards topics and issues.

Need more? Our team is here to help you take action! We can help you build the relationships and capabilities you need and to assist in the development of plans, training, and exercises to support your ability to preventprotect against, mitigaterespond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to your organization in our complex, all-hazards environment.

Understand the Threats. 

Assess the Risks.

Take Action.