Are you doing your part to be cyber smart? The theme for 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Month is ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart’, helping to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance & the U.S. DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) in October 2004. When Cybersecurity Awareness Month first began, the awareness efforts centered around advice like updating your antivirus software twice a year to mirror similar efforts around changing batteries in smoke alarms during daylight saving time.

Since the combined efforts of the National Cyber Security Alliance and DHS have been taking place, the month has grown in reach and participation. Operated in many respects as a grassroots campaign, the month’s effort has grown to include the participation of a multitude of industry participants that engage their customers, employees, and the general public in awareness, as well as college campuses, nonprofits, and other groups.

Between 2009 and 2018, the month’s theme was “Our Shared Responsibility.” The theme reflected the role that we all—from large enterprises to individual computer users—have in securing the digital assets in their control.

These days, cybersecurity is essential to ensure cybercriminals don’t exploit vulnerabilities in businesses. While companies rush to fix flaws in their software with updates, users who forget to install the newest version can become prime targets for cyberattacks.

According to the recent Atlas VPN team findings, Google and Microsoft accumulated the most vulnerabilities in the first half of 2021. Although not all exposures can cause critical damage, hackers could exploit some of them for severe attacks.

The data is based on Telefonica Tech Cybersecurity Report 2021 H1. The report analyzes mobile security and the most common vulnerabilities in today’s cybersecurity landscape.

Google had 547 accumulated vulnerabilities throughout the first half of 2021. Exploiting Google products like Chrome is popular among cybercriminals. More than 3 billion people use the browser, meaning that more internet users can become victims of the exploits.

Next up, the second most exposures were found in Microsoft products—432. State-sponsored threat actors from China abused Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities to carry out ransomware attacks. Other attackers would drop cryptocurrency miners from the post-exploit web shells.

Oracle registered 316 total vulnerabilities in the first six months of 2021 while networking hardware company Cisco accumulated 200 vulnerabilities.

Exploiting vulnerabilities products allow cybercriminals to probe millions of systems. While the tech giants are doing a good job of keeping up with exploits and constantly update their software, people and organizations need to follow suit and keep up with the updates to prevent further exploitation.

Hopefully, more will do their part this month to be cyber smart. Will you?

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #digitaltransformation #machinelearning #bigdata #AR #VR #MR #digitalreality #virtualreality