How to Rock Cybersecurity Awareness Month

2023 marks 20 years of Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 to communicate the importance of cybersecurity and help consumers stay safe online.

In the years since, it has expanded in reach to include organizations large and small across a broad spectrum of industries as they strive to protect customers, data, and systems against emerging threats. Many organizations limit their cybersecurity focus to the month of October, but not surprisingly, an intense focus for just four weeks has limited impact. We've compiled some tips to help you rock this awareness month and shine all year long.

Kick-Off Year-Long Initiatives

To ensure long-lasting results a better approach to drive cyber awareness, especially across application security teams, is to use the month of October to review progress on your cybersecurity awareness initiatives and make this month a starting point for ongoing security programs. If you have KPIs in place, this is great time to update stakeholders, solicit feedback from your teams and hear what they have to say. If you don't track cybersecurity awareness or training metrics, this is a good time to start. Couple your rear-view-mirror perspective with an update of the current threat landscape as it relates to your applications and a preview of security goals to achieve in the next year.

Early Planning is Key

Organizations that leverage Cybersecurity Awareness Month effectively usually start planning as early as June. Here are strategic steps to take to help get the most out of the month and accelerate progress:

  1. Put together a program for October with a plan for extending awareness in measurable ways throughout the coming year.
  2. Get executive buy-in and budget approval early—before summer vacations begin.
  3. Assess your teams' defensive skills and tailor content to the organization's needs.  
  4. Involve teams across the development lifecycle to effectively coordinate levels of understanding and pave the way to increasing DevSecOps efficiency.
  5. Plan communication early. Written, graphic and video communications have a long lead time, so reach out early to your marketing team or vendors
  6. Make it fun! Contests and interactive events keep your audience engaged.
  7. Partner with other organizations. Many security providers offer free programs during October.

Get Your AppSec Training Pack

Kick-start your October program by offering your teams the opportunity to gain new cyber skills while having fun. Our special AppSec Training Pack (no longer available) is a great way to start building a security-minded culture while engaging team members across the SDLC. The Security Innovation AppSec Challenge prepares team members to identify and mitigate some of the largest, most common threats. For five days, you’ll get 24-hour access to our training platform, including online learning modules, labs, and one of our popular CMD+CTRL Cyber Ranges. Your team can transform new concepts into tangible skills through a combination of fun, interactive learning modules and labs.


Security Innovation is a pioneer in software security. Since 2002, organizations have relied on our assessment and training solutions to secure software wherever it runs. Our training solutions combine interactive modules, scenario-based labs, and hands-on cyber ranges to build skills that stick. Contact us today to learn how we can help you launch a best-in-class security program.