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October is “Cybersecurity Awareness Month” in NY


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event as part of an effort to engage and educate the public about cybersecurity and provide tools and other resources to help all New Yorkers operate safely online. This proclamation follows Governor Hochul’s announcement of the first-ever comprehensive statewide cybersecurity strategy, which outlines an approach to protect digital assets through engaging public and private stakeholders and upholding the privacy and safety of our residents.

“For twenty years, New York State’s proclamation of Cybersecurity Awareness Month has helped raise awareness of digital security and educate New Yorkers about the steps they need to take to protect themselves online,” Governor Hochul said. “Through this designation, we are shining a bright light on the need for our citizens and businesses to be vigilant in the face of cyber threats that have become more numerous and more sophisticated. By establishing our state’s first-ever, comprehensive statewide cybersecurity strategy, my administration remains committed to creating a formidable statewide defense against cyber threats and protecting the critical services that our residents, businesses and local governments rely on every day.”

Cybersecurity Awareness Month this year will focus on four key behaviors:

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication; 
  • Using strong passphrases; 
  • Updating software; and, 
  • Recognizing and reporting phishing. 

Cybersecurity is essential for all organizations, but it can be challenging for smaller businesses that may not have dedicated staff or resources. In partnership with the non-profit Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), the State Department of Financial Services provides a free cybersecurity toolkit to small businesses so they can protect themselves and their customers from growing cyber threats. The cybersecurity toolkit includes information on identifying hardware and software, updating defenses against cyber threats, strengthening passphrases, enabling multi-factor authentication, backing up and recovering data and protecting email systems. The free cybersecurity toolkit for small businesses and the DFS-developed sample cybersecurity policies can be found on the DFS website.

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