If you've noticed an increase in cyber security-related content sprouting up across the digital landscape this week, you're not alone, and there's a smart reason for it.

That's right, folks. October is, in fact, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). Now in its 13th year, NCSAM was designed to elevate awareness about the importance of both cybersecurity and the sensible actions we can all take to be safer online.

The good news is, these actions can be as simple as using different layers of authentication for your online accounts and being keenly aware of the latest tactics cyber criminals are using to steal your personal information and passwords. Knowledge is power, so get ready to get strong this month!

Of course, cybersecurity is at the very core of what we do at iovation, so you can bet we’re going to fully support the awareness effort throughout the month with some helpful content.

Every week in October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its public and private partners will zero in on a relevant and timely cybersecurity theme, and we aim to do the same for our followers.

Here’s what will be covered this month:

  • October 3-7 – Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect.™
  • October 10-14 – Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room
  • October 17-21 – Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
  • October 24-28 – Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App’-titude?
  • October 31 – Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure

Week 1 is all about simple and useful tips for being safer online. So let's talk about those cumbersome passwords, shall we?

Passwords are becoming largely unreliable. A recent study by TeleSign, for example, showed that the average consumer has more than 24 online accounts, but those accounts are protected by only 6 passwords. What's more, 73% of online accounts have a password that is used by another account, and a whopping 77% of passwords are more than 12 months old! With numbers like that, perhaps we should call them "pastwords."

Many of us have fallen into this trap, which is why we're focused heavily on helping businesses to move beyond the password and offer consumers added layers of authentication to secure their accounts. This is precisely what our newly-acquired LaunchKey MFA does.

With it, businesses can empower their online customers to select the authentication and authorization methods they prefer, while dynamically shifting the amount of authentication required from their customers at any given time.

In other words, LaunchKey MFA empowers you to dial up or dial down the level of authentication required at various points along your customer’s online journey – based on risk levels – and your customers can choose how they provide that extra factor of authentication.

Suffice it to say that it’s an exciting capability whose time has come. When you have a few minutes, we encourage you to watch the video and see for yourself what it can mean for your business.

Be sure to check back next week, as we dig into more topics surrounding cybersecurity that you should now about.

*TeleSign Report: Consumer Account Security Report: An International Study of Digital Security Concerns and Practices, June 2015