The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2016 is entering its 13th
year this October. Founded in 2004, it is co-sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to put the focus on the threats that exist online and the vigilance we all must assume to protect ourselves when navigating the perilous terrain of a connected world.These threats are even more acute with ever-increasing data breaches and cyber-attacks that seem to occur on an almost daily basis. Ahead of the U.S. 2015 Presidential Elections, state-sponsored cyber-attacks, apparently originating from Russia, threaten to undermine our democratic process. President Obama has said that such threats pose one of the greatest national security dangers that the nation currently faces.Online security awareness concerns all of us, not just teens texting away on smartphones. The NCSA underscores that online security concerns anyone with a device that connects to the Internet. They point out online security awareness must be a collaborative effort inclusive of private citizens, businesses both small and large, educational institutions as well as the federal government. No single entity can be entrusted with securing cyberspace. It’s a shared responsibility that calls to mind the directive that “it takes a village.”National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2016, like previous campaigns, is divided into weeks individually dedicated to specific topics and trends in cybersecurity. Various outreach efforts will take place across the country, with many consisting of visits to schools to educate students about the importance of staying safe while online. The C-Save (Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Program will play a significant role in this effort.NCSAM 2016 also marks the sixth anniversary of the STOP.THINK.CONNECT.
campaign. Its core concepts consist of the following:
- Keep a Clean Machine
- Protect Your Personal Information
- Connect with Care
- Be Web Wise
- Be a Good Online Citizen
- Own Your Online Presence
These concepts can be reduced to thinking about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online while enjoying the benefits on the internet. Such actions in turn, will contribute greatly towards making the internet a secure place for everyone.The themed weeks of National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 are listed below:Week 1: Oct. 3-7
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.: The Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security
Week 2: Oct. 10-14From the Break Room to the Boardroom: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace
- STOP: make sure security measures are in place.
- THINK: about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.
- CONNECT: and enjoy the Internet.
The focus during Week 2 will be on creating a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace through efforts like employee education, training and awareness and by emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience.Week 3: Oct. 17-21Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
Dealing with cybercrime in all its forms such as “revenge porn,” cyber-stalking, harassment and bullying to child sexual exploitation and abuse to online radicalization, violence and recruitment to terrorist networks. The focus will be on the important collaboration among law enforcement, government agencies, the private sector and the general public.Week 4: Oct. 24-28Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your “Aptitude”?
Advances in technology are occurring at a dizzying pace and along with tremendous benefits come increased risks and vulnerabilities. It follows the we’ll need increased awareness of these growing risks and strategies to protect our devices, data, and privacy in this brave new world.Week 5: Oct. 31Building Resilience in Critical Systems
The final week is actually a single day and the focus will be on the dependency we all have on critical infrastructure such as the electrical grid as well as transportation and communications systems. Today, most of these vital systems and networks are connected to the internet and as such, are also vulnerable to cyber threats. On this final day, the important roles the general public plays in keeping this infrastructure secure will be highlighted.The importance of working together to secure our critical systems and the services they provide and the data they hold can’t be overstated. This is what National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2016 is all about. It’s not overreacting to say that the safety and future or our nation is in peril. The stakes couldn’t be much higher! The need for highly-trained and qualified IT professionals with specialized skills in cybersecurity has never been greater. Cybrary.it offers training in the essential disciplines concerned with cybersecurity, from CompTIA Security+
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