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For the last 20 years, Cyber Security Awareness Month has been an October diary fixture. Originally the brainchild of the US Department of Homeland Security and the US National Cyber Security Alliance, today Cyber Security Awareness Month sees global government agencies promote the importance of cyber security in the workplace and beyond.

Cyber Security Awareness Month in practice

With approximately 2.39 million instances of cybercrime across UK businesses in the last 12 months, here at IPI we see initiatives like Cyber Security Awareness Month as an ideal opportunity for us to take stock and review our own internal security policies. However, we also view it as a chance to equip our people with the knowledge they need to appropriately protect themselves, their personal data and devices from cyber threats in today’s increasingly digitalised world.

And so, IPI’s focus this year will be to highlight the importance of cyber security at home as well as at work. At IPI, safe cyber practices are not just a ‘work’ issue, it’s also highly important that IPI’s people have the knowledge to stay safe at work and when they’re logging into their personal devices at home.  And so, throughout October, we are running a whole host of activities, to remind our people of the importance of cyber awareness, whether at home or at work. We’ve put together this video to share with our teams and have devised these activities to run throughout October, which include:

IT best practices session: We’ll be running a  refresher session for those who are responsible for approving IT and client IT changes, where there’ll be a focus on how to assess risk and to improve documentation. With the majority of data breach incidents caused by human error, it’s key that we ensure our people are constantly updated on the latest tools to handle everyday security ups and downs.

Family cyber hygiene session: At a time when over 90% of children aged eight and above are active on the internet, we also want to ensure our people can take online best practices home with them to their families. As a result, we’ll be running another session on internet security at home, providing tips and tricks to engage children with internet best practices.

Suspicious Activity: We’ve spoken before about how gamification is a positive way to keep employees engaged, and so for Cyber Security Awareness Month IPI will be running an in-office game called ‘Suspicious Activity’. Here, spies will be placed around our Reading and Manchester offices, and employees have to locate them and inform the Security & Compliance Team of the risks associated with that location. Keep those eyes peeled!


Staying safe into the future

Cyber security awareness isn’t just reserved for the month of October, and at IPI we’re passionate about ensuring our people stay safe all year round, whether they’re in the office or at home. To ensure the longevity of our security best practices and to support the growth of our security posture, we’re launching Security Leads – a programme where our people can become an advocate for security within their department and take the lead on making sure their team have the skills and knowledge they need.

Our new device amnesty programme is another way in which we’re promoting long-term secure cyber practices. Here we are encouraging people to return old and unused IPI equipment to be wiped so it can be passed on to another employee or even be taken home, for family use.

The world of cyberspace continues to grow, and at IPI our goal is to make sure our people are aware of the risks and how to mitigate them – now and in the future.

Happy Cyber Security Awareness Month!