This Is What You Can Do To Promote Cyber Security Awareness Month

Whether or not you work in cybersecurity, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a great time to start promoting online safety awareness.

Every October when NCSAM rolls around, we at Global Knowledge find it is an opportune time to do our part as an NCSAM Champion to spread the word about cybersecurity. Every day headlines seem to feature the latest and greatest security breach (I’m looking at you Equifax!), which affect more and more Americans. As a result, it gets easier to get people not usually interested in online safety to take notice.

But even with all the attention huge far-reaching security breaches of corporate giants and departments of the federal government persist, it truly confounds me when employees of any organization don’t see the impact they can have on their work and personal life.

Over the years, NCSAM has grown into a global effort among businesses, government agencies, academia, nonprofit organizations and individuals. Together, these entities from around the world collaborate not only to promote online safety awareness but also to ensure all digital citizens have the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online while also protecting their personal information and identity.

Since its inception in 2003, NCSAM has become an international event led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Last year, 870 organizations joined the NCSAM Champion program, which is a vital part of the campaign’s ongoing success.

Unless you’ve never gotten a credit report, shopped at Target, or been a federal employee, chances are almost 100% your personal information has been compromised in some way and most likely multiple times. That’s why more than ever cybersecurity has become a routine part of our everyday lives and not just a best practice of the IT department at work.

With thousands of cybersecurity awareness activities and initiatives planned throughout the month of October, there’s no time like the present to better prepare yourself, your family and friends about cybersecurity. To help you accomplish this goal each week in October will have a designated NCSAM cybersecurity theme:

Week 1 — October 2–6
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Simple Steps to Online Safety

Because it is critical for anyone using the internet to consistently practice good cybersecurity habits, protect yourself online by securing your home networks and mobile devices. Using the internet more safely, securely and responsibly is a great start. An easy way to stay secure online is to simply remember the NCSAM tagline – STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
• STOP: make sure security measures are in place.
• THINK: about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.
• CONNECT: and enjoy the internet.

Week 2 — October 9–13
Cybersecurity in the Workplace Is Everyone’s Business

Whether you work in healthcare, finance, academia or government, creating a heightened culture of cybersecurity from the breakroom to the board room is essential to instilling cybersecurity awareness among your employees. No matter the size of your organization, a plan for employee education, training and awareness emphasizes the importance of risk management, resistance and resilience. Educating the workforce to emphasize following best practices among current employees and as a part of onboarding new hires in an organization.

Week 3 — October 16–20
Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

The new normal includes smart cities, connected healthcare devices, digitized records, smart cars and homes. Even today, the internet continues to find new ways to connect us with the rest of the digital world. During Week 3 of NCSAM consider the fact that your personal data is the fuel that makes smart devices so alluring to hackers. It’s important to continually seek out strategies for security and take advantage of all the benefits of cutting-edge technology without sacrificing personal privacy. As we explore increased digital interconnectivity, we must also better define everyone’s role in protecting our cyber ecosystem.

Week 4 — October 23–27
The Internet Wants You: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

We can’t protect our extensive networks and corporate data if we don’t have cybersecurity professionals in the open job roles HR is finding a challenge to fill. The worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals is growing each day and is on the verge of critical. By 2022, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals could be an estimated 1.8 million. Nurturing the next generation of skilled IT security workers as well as training those already in the workforce is essential to building stronger defenses. Global Knowledge’s popular cybersecurity training resources can help if you are interested in gaining cybersecurity skills.

Week 5 — October 30–31
Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Threats

Last but not least, electricity, financial institutions and transportation—all the systems that support our daily lives—are increasingly dependent on the internet to function. Week 5 will focus on how cybersecurity relates to keeping our water running, phones ringing, the lights on and other critical infrastructure secure. Luckily, this week leads up to November, which just so happens to be Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. But you knew that already, right?

During October, follow us on Twitter @GKonITSecurity and search the hashtag #CyberAware to follow daily NCSAM updates.

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