Cybersecurity is not only a matter of technology, but also of people. That is why raising awareness and empowering end-users to protect themselves and their organisations from digital threats is a key goal of the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), an initiative coordinated by ENISA and the European Commission.
For the fourth consecutive year, GÉANT supported the Cybersecurity Month with its own security awareness campaign for the international R&E community: “Become a Cyber Hero”. In a month-long journey into the world of cybersecurity, the campaign aimed to inspire and educate end-users on topics such as online privacy, phishing, social engineering, ransomware, and the importance of reporting cyber incidents.
What did the campaign comprise?
A four-part animation series “Cybercrime for Newbies” available in seven languages, which humorously illustrated the common pitfalls and mistakes that end-users can make when dealing with cyber threats, and how to avoid them.
Ten short videos with tips and tricks by experts from the international R&E community. Counterbalancing the animation videos, our Cyber Heroes covered topics such as how to spot phishing emails, how to use multi-factor authentication, how to protect your online identity, and how to report cyber incidents.
A series of webinars held by security experts from industry and the wider GÉANT community, who discussed the current threats in the security landscape, the pros and cons of phishing simulations, and the approaches and outcomes of successful internal awareness programmes in R&E.
In-depth interviews with Cyber Heroes from the community, who shared their stories, experiences, and best practices on cybersecurity. The interviews featured security professionals, researchers, educators, and students from different countries and backgrounds, who showcased the diversity and richness of the R&E community.
Blog articles and news stories written by community members, who shared their insights, opinions, and advice on cybersecurity topics and issues.
A collection of campaign resources, available for download and use by NRENs and other organisations to promote the campaign and spread the message of cybersecurity awareness.
The campaign received positive feedback from across the community and beyond and registered great levels of engagement, some of the highlights and achievements include:
- 22 NRENs and many other organisations contributed to the campaign, by providing articles and blog posts, interviews, webinar speakers, interpretation services and by helping us promote the campaign via their channels.
- Endorsements and special mentions from many other organisations, including a shoutout from ENISA’s official CyberSecMonth account.
- Almost 300 registrants to our webinars, with overall appreciation rated: 9.5/10.
- More than 90,000 impressions of the campaign posts across GÉANT social media channels, including LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, plus Mastodon which doesn’t collect post data.
- Nearly 20,000 views of the campaign videos across social media channels only from GÉANT accounts
Become a Cyber Hero was a successful example of how the R&E community can work together to raise cybersecurity awareness and foster a security-first culture. By sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices, the campaign aimed to help community members become more confident, informed and responsible in dealing with cyber threats, and ultimately, to become cyber heroes.
“We believe that one of the most resounding messages from our campaign was also the importance of being prepared. Cybersecurity is not just about reacting to threats; it’s about being proactive. By securing our digital lives and the organisations we work for, we can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercrime. Cybersecurity is not the responsibility of a select few, but a collective effort. By staying informed, sharing knowledge and taking proactive steps, we can all play a part in making the digital world safer. The power to defend against cyber threats lies within our hands, and with the right knowledge and practices, we can all be heroes.” Rosanna Norman, GÉANT
Behind the scenes at GÉANT Cybersecurity Month 2023
A team of communication and security awareness professionals from the international NREN community collaborated and worked their magic to make CSM23 happen. Let’s give a shout-out to:
Davina Luyten, Belnet
Marina Dimić Vugec, CARNET
Simona Venuti, GARR
Mark Tysom, Jisc
Charlie van Genuchten, SURF
Cornelia Puhze, Switch
Leonardo Marino and Rosanna Norman, GÉANT
Tania Altamirano and Maria Jose Lopez, RedCLARA
For more information about GÉANT Cybersecurity Month 2023, visit https://connect.geant.org/csm23
You can also watch the campaign videos, webinars and animations on the GÉANT YouTube channel.