October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Are You Secure?

A message from Vitaliy Panych, State Chief Information Security Officer

October 23, 2023 – On October 12, the 7th California Cybersecurity Education Summit showcased our united efforts to secure Californians’ privacy by attracting more than 700 dedicated technology and cybersecurity leaders from the public and private sectors. It’s important to note that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, serving as an annual reminder that organizations and individuals alike have a vital role in safeguarding our California way of life by putting “people first and security always.” 

California’s dedicated network of government cybersecurity professionals is working tirelessly to safeguard our digital infrastructure. We’ve made substantial advancements in bolstering our security measures, improving our capabilities, and forming crucial public-private partnerships to protect your interests. 

However, it’s essential to remember that cybersecurity requires a team effort, and we depend on your active participation to ensure a secure digital environment. Here are some fundamental security steps we should all adopt: 

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Use MFA wherever possible to add an extra layer of defense. It’s one of the most effective ways to protect your online accounts. 
  2. Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for each account, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and change them regularly for added security. Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and manage complex passwords. Passphrases are a good option and be sure to secure your password manager with a strong master password or biometric security. Regularly review and update stored passwords. 
  3. Software Updates: Keep your software and home networking equipment up to date. Cybercriminals often target known vulnerabilities in outdated systems. 
  4. Privacy Settings: Review and tighten the privacy settings on your social media profiles. Limit the information you share and be mindful of who can access it. 
  5. Vigilance: Stay vigilant and remain cautious of suspicious emails and SMS (mobile) phishing scams. Cybercriminals employ convincing tactics, but a discerning eye can often spot the signs. 

Celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month by making a personal commitment to stay safe and vigilant, and let’s continue working together to keep California secure.