WASHINGTON, — The two-week countdown to the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) has begun! The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ‒ the co-leaders of NCSAM ‒ along with the dedicated backing of thousands of organizations and individuals, are working to improve awareness and impact online behavior to better protect the internet. By emphasizing the theme that online safety is “Our Shared Responsibility,” NCSAM highlights that everyone has a role to play in keeping our networks secure.
NCSAM Champions – organizations and individuals who have signed on in support of a safer internet – are helping to amplify the core NCSAM messages. The Champions program is a free and easy way to get involved in the month. All Champions receive materials they can use to spread the word about online safety and security pre- and throughout NCSAM. More than 610 organizations and 280 individuals have already registered in support; learn more and sign up at https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/ncsam-champions/.
Earlier this month, the first-ever NCSA Awards were announced. Three different award categories will recognize excellence in digital safety and honor those organizations going beyond the norm to help everyone stay safer and more secure online. The inaugural NCSA Awards ceremony will close out the month during the Symantec’s Government Symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C. For more information visit https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/ncsaawards/. Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, Oct. 2.
There are several other timely cyber awareness programs that are already in full swing: notably, a higher education campaign spearheaded by NCSA, Internet2, Duo Security and EDUCAUSE that focuses on cybersecurity across college campuses nationwide. Whether it’s financial and enrollment data or student online activity, institutions of higher learning must work to better secure sensitive information. Earlier this month, there was a coast-to-coast call to action encouraging students, faculty and staff to add an extra layer of security to their accounts using multi-factor authentication. Learn more here.
In addition, NCSA teamed up with Facebook and MediaPRO to create a Cybersecurity Awareness Toolkit for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The toolkit is packed with SMB-friendly techniques and tips addressing simple, actionable safety, security and privacy practices for organizations of varying industries. Front and center is Facebook’s Hacktober, which is the company’s internal NCSAM campaign and emphasizes the role everyone plays in making the internet safer and more secure. It’s a fun, interactive way for employees to learn important cybersecurity lessons and apply them year round. MediaPRO infographics and a link to their invaluable Best Practices Guide for Comprehensive Employee Public Awareness Programs are also showcased along with NCSA’s Quick Wins Tip Sheet and a lengthy list of practical resources.
“NCSAM is the perfect opportunity for internet users of all ages and organizations to commit to taking steps to protect themselves, their customers and their online information,” said NCSA Executive Director Russ Schrader. “As data breaches and other forms of cybercrime become more prevalent and sophisticated, it’s important for everyone to understand the role they can play in promoting a safer, more secure and more trusted internet.”
On a weekly basis, NCSA and partners will distribute materials to make it easy to share valuable NCSAM 2018 information that supports that week’s topics. Connect with us on social media and learn the latest NCSAM news by following and using the hashtag #CyberAware. Get involved in the conversation by participating in our weekly #ChatSTC Twitter chats, which take place every Thursday in October at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT. You can learn more about the October #ChatSTC chats and other NCSAM events – and submit your own event – here. NCSA has also created sample social media posts and graphics that you can download and share leading up to and throughout the month. Additional information about NCSAM, along with resources like infographics, posters and social media content, can be found at staysafeonline.org/ncsam.
As digital citizens gear up to stay safer and more secure online, IdentityForce has an invaluable resource. The second edition of “Protecting What Matters Most: Insights, Trends, and Perspectives on Protecting Your Digital World” contains something for everyone. In just six pages, IdentityForce, now part of EZShield, curated 40+ resources to bring you the top findings and recommendations on securing your digitalized world, both at work and at home. https://www.identityforce.com/protecting-what-matters-most-v2
In addition, MediaPRO is launching a weekly downloadable toolkit program, with each bundle of resources tied to the weekly NCSAM themes. MediaPRO has packaged its own award-winning content with resources from NCSA into four resource-packed toolkits of security awareness content. Twenty-six individual resources are available, with both employee-facing educational infographics and security program management content designed to help create a more risk-aware culture at organizations of all sizes. https://pages.mediapro.com/NCSAM2018_Toolkit_Breakdown.html
Noteworthy events and initiatives leading up to and during October include:
- CyberSecure My Business Workshop and Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit, Saturday, Sept. 22, Murfreesboro, TN, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Fountains Greenway fireside chat with top cybersecurity experts, the National Cyber Security Alliance’s CyberSecure My Business™ workshop, breakouts targeted to all audiences and skill levels, a children’s technology and robotics lab, security and IT vendors sharing their newest products and services, food vendors, and outdoor live music.
- Congressional Staff Pre-NCSAM Event, Friday, Sept. 28, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: NCSA and the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus will host an event for Capitol Hill staff on how to get involved with NCSAM. Reserve your spot via NCSAM2018HILLEVENT.EVENTBRITE.COM
- CyberNextDC, Thursday, Oct. 4, Venable LLP, 600 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Cybersecurity Coalition, the Cyber Threat Alliance and the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School invite you to join us for the second annual CyberNextDC. This year we are excited to welcome confirmed speakers Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam Hickey from the Department of Justice, Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas, Tenable CEO Amit Yoran and many more. It will be an exciting day of discussion and debate on the most critical and pressing issues in cybersecurity today. Please keep an eye on our website for updates to the agenda at https://www.cybersecuritycoalition.org. We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you on October 4!
- Join #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety Thursday, Oct. 4, 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDTEvery day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices, like looking both ways before crossing the street. With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibility. This #ChatSTC will discuss online safety in the home and how to instill best practices for family members of all ages. Use #ChatSTC and #CyberAware to join!
- Cyber Safety Day – New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 10, New Orleans (multiple locations): Cyber Safety Day – New Orleans is a one-day event created by the nonprofit Center for Cyber Safety and Education, to provide free cyber safety materials to elementary schools who otherwise wouldn’t receive digital citizenship education during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. Thanks to our partnership with Congressman Cedric Richmond, the New Orleans Visitors Bureau, (ISC)² Security Congress and the donations of local organizations, materials for over 1,000 kids have been secured so far.
Learn more about upcoming NCSAM events (and submit your own events to the calendar) at https://staysafeonline.org/event_category/ncsam/
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 15th year, NCSAM is co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizens around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSAM media room: staysafeonline.org/about-us/news/media-room/.
About the National Cyber Security Alliance
NCSA is the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are DHS and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AT&T Services Inc.; Bank of America; CDK Global, LLC; CertNexus; Cisco; Cofense; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Facebook; Google; Intel Corporation; Marriott International; Mastercard; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; NXP Semiconductors; Raytheon; Salesforce; Symantec Corporation; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28); STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group with federal government leadership from DHS; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Anti-Phishing Working Group. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at stopthinkconnect.org.