Exceptional EA

Weekend Poll: How cybersecurity aware you in 2021?

It was while supporting a board of directors and its committees that I first began paying serious attention to cybersecurity. One of the board’s committees focused its energies and expertise on technology matters, and that tweaked my fascination with one of the the most significant challenges employers face. I wanted to learn more, and continue to do so.

Not all of us have the benefit of such exposure to this key business issue, which is increasingly becoming personal. However, if you’ve attended any of my cybersecurity presentations, or read my recent articles on apps and the need for all of us to become increasingly aware of both business and personal cyber risks, you’ll know there are steps each of us can take to mitigate those risks.

This begins with awareness.

My fifth annual weekend poll focusing on cybersecurity

When I published my first Weekend Poll focused on cybersecurity, in October 2017,  almost 20% of the assistants who responded reported that they had limited (or no) awareness of the topic.

That same year, only 48% of respondents reported that they’d received cybersecurity training through their employers. The percentage increased to 56.5% in 2018, and 75% in 2019. While general awareness is on the rise, 65% of 2019’s respondents and 67% of 2020’s respondents said you’re not confident you know enough. 

Now, it’s time to see how assistants are doing in terms of understanding cyber risks – and how to mitigate them – in 2021. This leads me to ask:

How’s your cybersecurity awareness in 2021?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say and will publish the results here.

1 - limited or no knowledge23 - high knowledge level
Yes; there have been pandemic-specific training sessions or modulesYes; we've received reminders about best practices or how to mitigate risksNo, but that's because we already had a good training/awareness program in placeNo
Modules or resources are online, and it's up to us to access themWithin the last monthWithin the last quarterWithin the last half yearWithin the last yearMore than a year ago
YesMy cybersecurity PD is limited to what Shelagh’s presented or written on the topicNo
1 (not concerned)23 ( very concerned)
1 - not concerned23 - very concerned
passwordspassphrasesI use both passwords and passphrases
1234>5I use distinct passwords or passphrases for every account or log-in
YesNoOnly occasionally
1 - embarrassingly obvious23 - challenging
123-56-1011-1516-24> two dozen> three dozen
Yes - in my careerYes - for personal useYes - for both career and personal useNo
Yes, I have a copy list and keep it securedYes, I have a hard copy list but it's not under lock and keyNo
Yes; I store it on my business hardware and it's password protectedYes; I store it on my business hardware but it's NOT password protectedYes; I store it on my personal hardware and it's password protectedYes; I store it on my personal hardware but it's NOT password protectedNo
YesNoI do so with apps, but not for other software installationsI do so for most software installations, but not for appsI haven't done so, yet perhaps it's time to start doing so
YesNoI'm not familiar with this
YesNoI hadn't thought about this, but I will now


A thought for your day, with my good wishes to all …

Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are

– Alfred Austin


A thought for your day, with my good wishes to all …

Replace judgement with curiosity

– Lynn Nottage


A thought for your day, with my good wishes to all …

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said

– Peter Drucker