October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.
Themes for 2017 have been announced!
Week 1: October 2-6 – Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety.
All members of the public can take some simple actions to protect themselves online and to recover in the event a cyber incident occurs. Week 1 will address the top consumer cybersecurity concerns, provide simple steps to protect against these concerns, and help the public understand what to do if they fall victim to cybercrime.
Week 2: October 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business
Creating a culture of cybersecurity is critical for all organizations ‒ large and small businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and government agencies – and must be a shared responsibility among all employees. Week 2 will showcase how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats. The week will also look at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework.
Week 3: October 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet
Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.
Week 4: October 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
According to a study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, by 2022, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers. It is critical that today’s students graduate ready to enter the workforce to fill the vast number of available cybersecurity positions. Week 4 will encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers. Key influencers – like parents, teachers, guidance counselors and state and local officials – will learn more about this growing field and how to engage youth in pursuing cybersecurity careers.
Week 5: October 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats
The essential systems that support our daily lives – such as electricity, financial institutions, and transportation – are all dependent upon the Internet. Building resilience in critical infrastructure is crucial to our national security. Week 5 will look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure. It also facilitates the transition to November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (CISR), highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Plans for National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2017 are already underway. Check this website in the coming months for more details and specific ways to get involved. Check out the NCSAM Resources page to see content from previous Awareness Months, including one pagers, blog posts, presidential proclamations, and more.