October has been named National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) since 2004 making this year's proclamation, by President Barack Obama, it's 12th consecutive year. As our technology is advancing and our access to the internet is becoming infinite it is important that people at all levels understand the threats that are out there. Since its inception NCSAM has grown and reached consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people to better educate them on threats that are potentially out there. NCSAM focuses on a different cyber security issue each month:
Week 1: October 1-2
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
This was the fifth year that STOP. THINK. CONNECT. had been implemented with the NCSAM. This is simple advice that helps any user make sure they are secure going onto the internet. STOP is to make sure that all of the computer's security walls are on and updated before going anywhere near the internet. THINK before you do anything you might regret while using your own computer or a work computer. This is important so that users understand that there are vulnerabilities to many networks through sites with pop-ups and malware. CONNECT to the internet once you understand your goal of your web session and to make sure you are protected.
Week 2: October 5-9
Cybersecurity at Work
As a business it is important to have all of your ducks in a row when it comes to protecting your company's important, private information by having the most up-to-date security. Without internet security a business is creating a vulnerability into their network exposing confidential company and customer information. Having your network breached by malware or hacker is not even completely preventable with security, but having a security and reaction plan in place will ensure that your business will be able to react as swiftly as possible to any potential threat. There are also multiple variables where your company is vulnerable including a business that allows employees to use their personal devices for work possibly opening another access point.
Week 3: October 12-16
Connected Communities and Families: Staying Protected
Family connection has drastically increased as everyone from grandma to pre-K Kevin has their own mobile device to connect with one another, friends and the internet. Families are also relying more on mobile apps for banking, shopping and even healthcare which makes staying secure while being connected that much more important. Making sure you are connected to a secure network when using the internet is important when doing transactions online and making sure your banking apps are always secure with passcode within the app and on your phone. It is important that kids understand that the internet is not always safe and that there are certain things that they should know how to identify as cybercrimes and cyberbullying to make sure that they stay away and report.
Week 4: October 19-23
Your Evolving Digital Life
The technology world grows everyday with new gadgets, new programs and new ideas and it is important that we keep up with updated security programs for our devices and applications. In the past having technology was so that you could stay connected, but now with sharing and cloud it is about being interconnected to others or devices. This makes it imperative that the infrastructure of our devices is strong and capable of staying connected to send info and to remain connected under an attack.
Week 5: October 26-30
Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
While the world's technology infrastructure is ever growing our cybersecurity professionals are at a shortage. It is important that we recruit the next generation of cyber professionals for security since the cybersecurity job market is growing three and a half times the rate of the overall IT job market making it a great career choice for many young adults to pursue. Since we are a more connected culture than we were in the past kids have a lot more interaction with being socially connected which is great to get more kids interested in how IT and cybersecurity works.
This review of National Cyber Security Awareness Month should be insightful and a helpful refresher on making sure that your home, business and mobile are secure. It is always important to make sure you are well versed in your own security, your business's security and making sure that your employees and family understands what it means to be secure and avoid any scams that could come their way via email or on the internet. It is important that we are always connected, but it is also important that we stay connected through security.