Awareness Month

The overarching theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.

Weekly Content

Throughout October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM) will focus on the following areas in our promotions and outreach.

Expand this section to see the weekly themes.

Week of October 4 (Week 1): Be Cyber Smart

As our lives have become increasingly dependent on technology, virtually all personal and business data is kept on internet-connected platforms, which can become a gold mine for bad actors. The first full week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight best security practices and focus on general cyber hygiene to keep your information safe. Own your role in cybersecurity by starting with the basics. Creating strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication, backing up your data, and updating your software are great places to start. This is a great way to Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart!

Week of October 11 (Week 2): Fight the Phish

Phishing attacks and scams have thrived since the COVID pandemic began in 2020 and today, phishing attacks account for more than 80 percent of reported security incidents. Week 2 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will stress the importance of being wary of emails, text messages or chat boxes that come from a stranger or someone you were not expecting. Think before you click on any suspicious emails, links or attachments and make sure to report any suspicious emails if you can!

Week of October 18 (Week 3): Explore. Experience. Share (Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week)

Week 3 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight the Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week led by National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). This is a week-long campaign that inspires and promotes the exploration of cybersecurity careers. Whether it’s students, veterans, or those seeking a career change, the dynamic field of cybersecurity is rapidly growing and has something for everyone

Learn more about Cybersecurity Career Awareness week here.

Week of October 25 (Week 4): Cybersecurity First

Week 4 is all about making security a priority. For businesses, this means building security into products and processes. Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip staff with the tools they need to keep the organization safe. For individuals, keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind as you connect daily. Before purchasing a device or online product, do your research. When you set up a new device or app, consider your security and privacy settings and update default passwords. Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought.

Online Events

Various online events are held during October in support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Check them out here

Show HACC's support for CSAM by using this Zoom background during the Month of October!

Simply right-click on the image and save it somewhere on your computer, then choose it for your background in Zoom.

Get Involved!

Visit Stop.Think.Connect for online safety tips.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign is a national public awareness effort that increases the understanding of cyber threats and empowers the American public to be safer and more secure online. It encourages Americans to view Internet safety as a shared responsibility–at home, in the workplace, and in our communities. The Campaign provides access to these types of resources to give Americans the tools they need to make more informed decisions when using the Internet.


  • the world faces over 100,000 malicious websites and 10,000 malicious files daily

  • In 2020, malware increased by 358% overall and ransomware increased by 435% as compared to 2019

  • phishing emails, lack of training, and weak passwords are some of the top causes of successful ransomware attacks

  • phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents

  • every minute, $2,900,000 is lost to cybercrime.

  • as of 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million

  • cybercrime is projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025


Recommended Reading

With a focus on cybersecurity this October, here is a list of recommended reading on the topic in no particular order:

Cliff Stoll, The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage (Gallery Books, 1989)

Details the story of how the author managed to discover a computer espionage ring infiltrated in the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. The operation eventually led to the involvement of the CIA, and exposed the role of the KGB in the entire operation (399 pages).

Fred Kaplan, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War (Simon & Schuster, 2017).

This book tells the history of cyberwar in a gripping, narrative-driven style (352 pages).

P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Written in a question-and-answer style and employing stories and anecdotes, this introduction is highly readable, but those who come with some knowledge of the internet already may find it simplistic (306 pages).

Kim Zetter, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon (Broadway Books, 2015).

Written by a journalist, this book both tells the story of Stuxnet and examines the overall state of cyberwarfare today (448 pages).

Kevin D. Mitnick & William L. Simon, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security (Wiley, 2003)

The world's most infamous hacker offers an insider's view of the low-tech threats to high-tech security. Focusing on the human factors involved with information security, Mitnick explains why all the firewalls and encryption protocols in the world will never be enough to stop a savvy grifter intent on rifling a corporate database or an irate employee determined to crash a system (352 pages).

Kevin Mitnick, Robert Vamosi (Co-Author), The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data (Little, Brown and Company, 2017)

Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous hacker, teaches you easy cloaking and counter-measures for citizens and consumers in the age of Big Brother and Big Data. Mitnick provides both online and real life tactics and inexpensive methods to protect you and your family, in easy step-by-step instructions. He even talks about more advanced "elite" techniques, which, if used properly, can maximize your privacy. Invisibility isn't just for superheroes--privacy is a power you deserve and need in this modern age.

Parmy Olson, We Are Anonymous (Little, Brown and Company, 2013).

WE ARE ANONYMOUS is the first full account of how a loosely assembled group of hackers scattered across the globe formed a new kind of insurgency, seized headlines, and tortured the feds-and the ultimate betrayal that would eventually bring them down (512 pages).

Andy Greenberg, This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information (Dutton Adult, 2012)

The first full account of the cypherpunks who aim to free the world’s institutional secrets, by Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg who has traced their shadowy history from the cryptography revolution of the 1970s to Wikileaks founding hacker Julian Assange, Anonymous, and beyond (384 pages).