Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month kicks off


Everyone may enjoy tricks or treats in October, but in order to cut down on the tricks, at least of the cyber variety, this is also the start of the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

A wide variety of companies and organizations will be marking the month with a series of events and issuing tutorials to help keep everyone from families to large enterprises safe.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has created a different theme for each week of October that will be followed industry-wide.

Week One, Oct. 1-5, is "Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety" week. During this week the Alliance recommends teaching healthy safety and privacy habits to family members that underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyberthreats.

Week Two, Oct. 8-12, will center on helping narrow the jobs gap in the industry with "Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity." During this period the Alliance will look to educate students of all ages – from high school through higher education and beyond, including recently discharged veterans – on the field of cybersecurity as a possible career option. This will include addressing ways to motivate teachers, parents and guidance counselors to learn more about the field so they can help entice others into the field.

Week Three, Oct. 15-19, is all about on-the-job cyber safety with the topic being "It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work." The Alliance will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience.

Week 4, Oct. 22-26, will look at keeping the nation safe with the topic "Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure." During these five days an emphasis will be placed on the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlighting the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. This will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Alliance is not the only group to be fired up for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

The FBI is also supporting behind National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, putting out a statement supporting the themes for the month and calling for greater cooperation at all levels to combat this problem.

“Realistically, we know we can’t prevent every attack, or punish every hacker,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said earlier this year. “But we can build on our capabilities. We can strengthen our partnerships and our defenses. We can get better at exchanging information to identify the telltale signs that may help us link cybercriminals to their crimes.”

Wombat Security has created two free campaigns, Cybersecurity Heroes and Best Behavior Bingo. Those who sign up will receive access to material covering:

  • Administrative tools – including communications plans and printable resources – that will streamline planning and execution of your program.
  • Web-based cybersecurity videos and tips that end users can access (and share) from any connected device during Cybersecurity Awareness Month – and beyond.

The Better Business Bureau also will push out tips on topics, such as the importance of HTTPS, throughout the month and hold events around the country. These include “Shred” events where people can bring old computers and up to three bags of documents to be properly disposed.

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