7 things you should know about cybersecurity

October 24, 2022

ASU experts give simple steps and advice for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Connected devices are everywhere — from our phones and doorbell cameras to our cars and smart infrastructures — and the security of those devices is critical. Cybersecurity needs to be everyone’s responsibility; we must all work together to create a safer environment for this generation and those to come.

Since 2004, the President of the United States declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Cybersecurity Alliance. This year’s theme — “See Yourself in Cyber” — demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, it’s really about the people.

In this Q&A, Arizona State University experts Nadya Bliss, executive director of the Global Security Initiative, and Jamie Winterton, director of strategy at the Global Security Initiative, discuss how cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, how can you protect yourself online and what can we do about cybersecurity challenges.

1. Why is cybersecurity critical?

Nadya Bliss: Computing and connected devices are literally in every aspect of our lives and we put so much trust in them to help us function as individuals and as a broader society – from helping us organize our day to tracking our exercise to managing the worldwide supply chain of critical goods. As a result, the security of those devices is paramount.

Jamie Winterton: So many of the building blocks of society are connected to the internet, so I think it really counts as critical infrastructure at this point.

2. What can people do to protect themselves online?

Here is some practical advice from Bliss and Winterton.

  • Step back and assess. Ask yourself: “Why do I feel threatened and what do I need protection from?”
  • Keep your technologies up to date. Updates help to identify software vulnerabilities to keep our operating systems secure.
  • Be careful with untrusted sources. If you do not recognize a link that someone has shared with you, do not click on it — many…