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Launch of the 10th anniversary of the European Cybersecurity Month

The 10th edition of the European Cybersecurity Month, this year titled “Think Before U click – I choose to be safe online”, starts today.

The European Cybersecurity Month runs throughout October with tips and tricks on practicing cyber hygiene and identifying cyber threats, such as ransomware and phishing.

More and more of our daily activities are also moving online – we shop, text, work and learn through the many digital tools that connect us. Such conveniences can sometimes expose us to certain risks. Clicking on a link sent by an unfamiliar email address, entering your personal information in an unchecked website or installing unverified software only once puts you at risk for being a victim of a cyberattack. By knowing how to stay safe online and becoming familiar with the latest cybersecurity threats, you can protect yourself and those around you. Cybersecurity month is your opportunity – and your one-stop-shop - to do so.

Since 2012, every October has been dedicated to raising awareness about the risks we may encounter in different corners of the online world. The European Commission, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and over 300 partners, including public authorities, universities, think tanks, NGOs and professional associations from across Europe unite against cyber threats under the slogan ‘Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility’.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age said:

Some of the biggest risks to our IT systems and networks can occur through human error. Learning to stay cybersecure is a daily task for all of us, and the European Cybersecurity Month will help us step up to it.

European Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, noted:

The European Cybersecurity Month is a flagship activity, part of our efforts to help EU citizens and stakeholders to be safe online. While shielding the EU with a panoply of actions to protect its security, we need informed citizens who are part of our Security Union. This year’s campaign will help everyone learn and understand how to protect their daily life from new emerging threats such as ransomware.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market added:

As our societies become increasingly interconnected, the cyber risk is expanding. One of the best ways to protect ourselves is through training and cyber literacy, including in everyday life. That's what Cyber Security Month is all about, and it has well proven its worth over the past 10 years.

Check also the video messages by Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration and Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs

More EU initiatives to increase cybersecurity skills

The Digital Europe Programme is funding the take up of advanced digital skills. Under the programme, the Commission recently held an open call for proposals for projects providing education and training in key areas, including cybersecurity. It will fund specialised education programmes designed and delivered by academic institutions, research centres and businesses. More calls for cybersecurity are coming up. 

More so, as stated in the Commission President’s Letter of Intent to President Roberta Metsola and to Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the Commission services will work on a new Cybersecurity Skills Academy. The Academy will pool together existing initiatives at European and national levels and leverage the Digital Skills & Jobs Platform to offer additional training resources, intelligence on the skills needed and other resources on cybersecurity. Businesses will play a key role through the Large-Scale Partnership for Digital under the Pact for skills, national actors will be mobilised via the network of national Coalitions for digital skills and other actors such ENISA would be closely associated.

EU Cybersecurity

As part of the EU priorities to keep the interconnected world safe and to lead by its core values, the Commission recently proposed the Cyber resilience act. The proposal aims to secure the connected objects and software that consumers and businesses have come to rely on for their daily activities – from smart watches, to automated manufacturing and the growing number of IoT devices.

The Cyber resilience act, as well as raising cyber awareness and cyber skills in EU citizens, are part of framework laid out in the EU Cybersecurity strategy. The strategy goes beyond personal cybersecurity to cover the secure and safe digitalisation of many essential services, such as hospitals, energy grids, transport networks and public administrations – which concerns us all.

Learn about cybersecurity & spread the message

October will be filled with conferences, trainings and online activities on cybersecurity in your local language. Besides these activities, the online portal also hosts a calendar of events on cybersecurity across Europe and an interactive map to learn about national organisations you can turn to in case of exposure to risks online. Find more information in the ENISA press release (add link).

This year, the European Cyber Security Month campaign has a new feature – awarding the best campaign materials from previous years. You can discover the winners chosen by Member States for best video on safe bookings online, the best video on protecting online accounts, best infographics, and best teaching material.

Follow the European Cybersecurity Month campaign on Twitter @CyberSecMonth and with hashtags #CyberSecMonth and #ThinkB4Uclick, and on Facebook @CyberSecMonthEU.