By Larry K. Williams, TAG President and CEO

This month marks the 20th Anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month – a collaborative effort between government and private industry to ensure that every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

Protecting personal data from digital crime is essential to preventing identity theft, hacker intrusions and data breaches. There’s no definitive number indicating how many people fall victim to cyberattacks each year. However, based on certain industry studies, cybersecurity professionals estimate that more than 800,000 people experience ransomware attacks, phishing attacks, or data security breaches each year in the U.S.

Georgia is a leading line of defense against cyberattacks. Over 150 companies specializing in cybersecurity are located in the Metro Atlanta area alone. Additionally, Georgia is a leader in cybersecurity talent and research. Twelve institutions of higher education are designated as National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

TAG created the National Technology Security Coalition (NTSC) in 2016. Through dialogue, education, and government relations, the NTSC unites public and private sector stakeholders around policies that improve national cybersecurity standards and awareness.

This year, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is promoting the Secure Our World program to encourage everyone to take these four easy steps to guard against cyberattacks.

  • Use strong passwords and a password manager
  • Turn on multifactor authentication (MFA)
  • Recognize & report phishing
  • Update software

While there are no fool-proof ways to completely guard against cyber threats, we can all do our part to be aware and take the necessary steps to better protect ourselves.