Over two thirds of Member States who responded (69%) rated the overall implementation of the ECSM 2021 campaign as Good or Excellent, while 73% of them say that their campaign has been effective in improving how an individual would act, if they are faced with a cybersecurity threat. At the same time 77% agree that their campaign (or their partners') has changed the attitudes of organisations towards cyber threats.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the scope of last year’s European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM).The aim of the 2021 European Cybersecurity Month Campaign was to go beyond informing and to encourage action and behaviour change with the ultimate aim of preventing cyber incidents.
The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) is called to respond to the same challenge for the 2022 European Cybersecurity Month (scheduled to take place in October 2022) and the 2021 ECSM Deployment report is to be used as a blueprint, providing useful insights towards reaching its target of fewer cyber incidents.
Highlights of the 2021 ECSM Deployment report
The report summarises the activities carried out by the agency and by participating EU Bodies, Member States, EEA countries and partners for the 2021 campaign. It provides an analysis of what worked well and presents the evaluation of the campaign, as well as insights that can be drawn for future years.
The report further highlights ENISA’s previous year’s success with the high impact of the ‘Think Before U Click’ campaign, which continued to have a resounding success this year as well, with a significant growth in social media mentions. A social media reach of over 20 million was achieved in 2021 which is more than double of the reach that was achieved in 2020 (8.8 million) and in previous years. Social media mentions increased to over 23,000 which is a triple increase compared to 2020 and Twitter followers increased to over 28,000 from 24,000.
Building therefore on the analysis of what worked well in the 2020 campaign, the report concludes that more digital tools such as video, generated greater engagement. A series of real-life stories were accompanied with actionable recommendations. Infographics were created and distributed through social media. Gamified content such as social media puzzles were included to engage people in innovative ways. Rather than just focusing on prevention as in the past years, ENISA provided useful tips on how to manage situations through an EU Interactive map with contact details which enable users to call a helpline or get help where possible when they fall victims of cyberattacks.
Looking ahead- 2022 ECSM
This year will be the 10th edition of the ESCM and the focus will be on different topics and cybersecurity themes, as compared to previous years. The focus will be on Ransomware and Phishing which are two main trends observed currently in the cyber threat landscape. The themes of each year’s campaign are decided at the beginning of the year during a dedicated planning session taking place between ENISA and partners from the EU Member States and EU Institutions.
During the 2022 ECSM an EU awards competition will also take place for the first time as a pilot activity during which the best material from Member States will be selected (i.e best video, best infographic, best educational toolkit) and will be translated into the 24 EU official languages. The winning material will also be used as part of the ECSM 2022 campaign material.
10 years anniversary of the ECSM
The 2022 European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) coincides with its 10-year anniversary, since first launched in 2012. The campaign is now part of the actions designed to implement the provisions of the EU Cybersecurity Act on awareness raising and education, since the idea was explored in a feasibility study in 2011 and launched as a pilot project in 2012.
The ECSM provides further one of the areas in which ENISA assists Member States in their efforts to raise cybersecurity awareness and promote cybersecurity education across the Union.
Aimed at citizens, organisations and businesses, (ECSM) is a month-long campaign to be held for many Octobers to come, across the EU and beyond.
Target audience of the report
This report is intended for the following stakeholders:
- Organisations that have supported the ECSM – or intend to in the future.
- Cybersecurity professionals and other groups who have participated in the ECSM.
- EU and national policymakers aiming to improve the cybersecurity awareness of citizens and professionals.
About the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM)
The European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) is the European Union’s annual campaign dedicated to promoting cybersecurity among citizens and organisations, and to providing up-to-date digital security information through awareness raising and the sharing of good practices. Each year, for the entire month of October, hundreds of activities take place across Europe, including conferences, workshops, trainings, webinars, presentations, online quizzes and more, to provide resources for citizens to learn more about protecting themselves online.
The ECSM is coordinated by ENISA and supported by the European Commission, Europol, the European Central Bank and EU Member States, EEA countries, and more than 300 partners (governments, universities, think tanks, NGOs, professional associations, private sector businesses) from Europe, and beyond.
Get involved online
More information on the ECSM can be found at cybersecuritymonth.eu.
Deployment report of the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) for 2021:
Main ECSM 2021 highlights
For questions related to the press and interviews, please contact press(at)enisa.europa.eu
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