The cybersecurity industry continuously evolves to keep up with fast-moving threats. But for nearly two decades, there’s been at least one constant: October marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
Launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004 to raise public awareness about digital risks, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has since grown into a global phenomenon, drawing government and private sector participation from Ukraine to Japan.
We at Synack are honoring this year’s theme, See Yourself in Cyber, with an array of content and events that kicked off Saturday, Oct. 1, in western India. Synack solutions architect Hudney Piquant delivered a timely talk at the BSides Ahmedabad conference on securing the human element in the cyber industry, emphasizing the importance of effective education and training.
The See Yourself in Cyber theme, chosen by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the nonprofit National Cybersecurity Alliance, recognizes that not everyone needs to have a technical background to contribute to the collective defense of our most critical networks. From accountants to recruiters, pentesters to policymakers – everyone has a role to play. With an estimated 700,000 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S. alone, there’s an urgent need to build a bigger tent for the cybersecurity community and welcome individuals of diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Closing the cyber talent gap can start with personal effort.
“As the threat of malicious cyber activities grows, we must all do our part to keep our Nation safe and secure,” President Biden said in a White House proclamation Friday.
That can mean enabling multi-factor authentication, using a password manager or keeping software up to date, as the White House pointed out. But it can also mean providing mentorship, crafting a welcoming environment for anyone interested in cybersecurity and sharing the tools and technologies needed to secure our increasingly interconnected world.
At Synack, we believe that diverse perspectives in security testing are essential to hardening systems against the full spectrum of cyberthreats. That means opening doors for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds through programs like the Synack Academy, which is designed to build student participants’ cybersecurity education and skills while recognizing their unique circumstances and providing mentorship. We empower members of our elite Synack Red Team community of security researchers through the Artemis Red Team, a community open to women, trans and nonbinary security professionals and others who identify as a gender minority.
So keep an eye out this month as us Synackers do our part to promote cybersecurity awareness. We’ll be adding new entries to our Exploits Explained blog series, in which Synack Red Team members share insights on the latest threats and vulnerabilities gleaned from years of pentesting. You can hear our CEO and co-founder, Jay Kaplan, speak to security talent and prioritization strategies at an Oct. 19 webinar on A Better Way to Pentest for Compliance. Or you can catch us at one of several upcoming cybersecurity events, from CyberGov UK to the SecTor conference in Canada. And we’ll continue to offer helpful and engaging cyber content through our WE’RE IN! podcast, the README cybersecurity news source and our social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn.
The cybersecurity industry can seem like it’s full of intractable and highly technical problems, whether it’s new challenges like API security testing or old threats like phishing. But our collective success in defending society from cyberattacks hinges on each of us. CISA said it best when unveiling this year’s See Yourself in Cyber theme: “While cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, ultimately, it’s really all about people.”
Tackling our biggest security challenges will take collaboration and creativity. We hope you can See Yourself in Cyber, engage in this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month programming and get in touch with us if we can help.