Security awareness is something that is considered to be an essential part of having an effective cyber security programme.
Now, with European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) set to begin in October, organisations have a valuable opportunity to increase security awareness among employees so that they’re ready to combat the next generation of online threats.
Below we’re going to look at what ECSM is and how organisations can participate.
What is European Cybersecurity Month?
ECSM is an annual campaign run by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the European Commission, designed to promote cyber security awareness among EU citizens and organisations.
As part of the ECSM, ENISA and participating organisations will host a range of educational activities, including conferences, presentations, workshops, webinars, training sessions, and games, to help employees and consumers improve their cyber security knowledge.
One of the most interesting events scheduled this year is the European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC), where top cyber security professionals will meet in Prague to compete against each other in a series of security-related tasks to become the ambassadors of the ECSM 2021.
Why is European Cyber Security Month Important?
Participating in the ECSM as a participant or an organiser is beneficial because it provides your organisation with a valuable opportunity to increase employee’s security awareness of external threats.
The diverse range of online training materials, workshops, and training materials included within the campaign provides a goldmine of knowledge for employees to absorb and learn new ways to protect themselves against emerging threats.
When considering that employee awareness is the first line of defense against threats like phishing attempts, social engineering attacks, and credential theft, increasing security awareness among employees can significantly reduce the risk of your organisation of falling victim to a data breach in the near future.
At the same time, ECSM and events like the ECSC also provide an opportunity for security professionals to collaborate, network, and learn from some of the leading cyber security experts in the world to find new ways to enhance their organisation’s security maturity.
How You Can Get Involved in European Cybersecurity Month
One of the best ways for your team to get involved in ECSM is by actively organising a security awareness event. You create activities for your own organisation internally or for other organisations to participate in, which ENISA will promote via the ECSM website.
You can create an event by registering it on the ECSM website by clicking on the Register an Activity page and filling out a form detailing your event. It’s important to note that once you submit your event, it must be approved by the coordinator before it’s published on the website.
Once you’ve published your event, you can use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote the event and participate in campaigns including @CyberSecMonth, #CyberSecMonth, #ThinkB4UClick, and #BeCyberSmart.
If you don’t want to organise an event, but you still want to get involved with ECSM, you can search for other activities on the ECSM website. On the Activities page, you can search for conferences, webinars, in-person training, online training, social media campaigns, and competitions taking place throughout the EU.
Key Resources for ECSM
If you want to find out more about the ECSM and the latest security awareness guidance, there are plenty of resources online available to assist you, whether you’re looking to plan your own activity or shortlist security best practices to increase employee’s security awareness.
We've compiled a list of resources that we believe organisations may find useful as part of ECSM:
- ENISA - Visit the ENISA site to find out more information about European Cyber security month.
- ECSM - You can find out more about the activities and resources available for European Cyber Security month on the ECSM website.
- ECSM Learning Modules - The ECSM also includes learning modules on how to create a plan for security awareness classes. The modules include Password Management, Backing Up Data, Privacy Settings, and Protecting Against Social Engineering.
- SANS Scavenger Hunt - Visit the SANS Scavenger hunt webpage to find out how you can use a scavenger hunt to increase employee engagement in your security awareness training.
- SANS Cyber Security Resources - If you want to unlock more opportunities for cyber security training, then you can visit SANS’ Cyber Security Resources page to view free training, events, news, and security updates.
- SANS Annual Security Awareness Report - Download the SANS Annual Security Awareness Report to view the latest insights on what makes a great awareness program and how to manage human risk.
- Gartner: 3 Steps to Stop Employees from Taking Cyber Bait - Gartner recently released an eBook providing security leaders with simple steps to increase employee’s security awareness and change problematic behaviour.
- KnowBe4 Cyber Security Awareness Month Resource Kit - KnowBe4 has produced a free Cyber Security Awareness Month Resource Kit with resources you can use to increase security awareness, including free training resources and training modules for users.
- European Cyber Security Month Twitter Account - The ECSM Twitter account is an excellent resource for keeping up-to-date with news on the latest events and finding tips for users.
- National Cyber Security Centre Information for Cyber Security Professionals - The UK’s NCSC has prepared a list of resources, reports, and advisories, designed to keep security professionals up-to-date on the latest industry events and guidance.
- CyberArk Think Like an Attacker Bootcamp - CyberArk’s Think Like an Attacker Bootcamp series provides viewers with four 20-minute on-demand virtual episodes that explain how to think like an attacker.
Take Advantage of European Cyber Security Month to Increase your Security Awareness
Getting your team to participate in ECSM is a highly effective way to increase your employee’s security awareness in a fun and engaging way. With the range of events and training materials listed on the site, there is content out there to support all types of learners, no matter whether they’re beginners or cyber security experts.
Want to find out how we can help you improve your security awareness? Speak to our team today about proactive technologies and services that can help you to track and improve cyber security awareness in your organisation.