Get Involved in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Published, October 9, 2014
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) – celebrated every October - was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.
Since its inception a decade ago under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small and medium-size businesses, corporations, educational institutions, and young people across the nation.
This year, we are celebrating the 11th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
President Barack Obama has once again declared October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month for 2014. See the proclamation.
Our Shared Responsibility
We lead Internet-connected, digital lives. From our desks and homes to on the go, we work, learn and play online. Even when we are not directly connected to the Internet, our critical infrastructure—the vast, worldwide connection of computers, data and websites supporting our everyday lives through financial transactions, transportation systems, healthcare records, emergency response systems, personal communications and more—impacts everyone.
Cybersecurity is the mechanism that maximizes our ability to grow commerce, communications, community and content in a connected world.
The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility. Our Shared Responsibility is once again our theme for National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014.
No individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. Individual actions have a collective impact and when we use the Internet safely, we make it more secure for everyone. If each of us does our part—implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people or training employees—together we will be a digital society safer and more resistant from attacks and more resilient if an attack occurs.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Cybersecurity begins with a simple message everyone using the Internet can adopt: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
Individuals, organizations, and communities throughout the United States are promoting National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and letting others know that all of us have a role in protecting our digital lives. Tens of thousands of NCSAM participants across the country will be doing their part by posting safety and security tips on social networks, educating their customers and employees, engaging in traditional media, displaying posters, posting tips, holding events and much more.
If you are concerned about making the Internet safer and more secure for everyone, we invite you to become an active participant in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Everyone can do something—even if you have less than one hour to devote to this effort!
We have divided the month into themed weeks to help focus on core issues in cybersecurity. Take a look and find a part of the month that's most relevant to you. Participate in one or all of the weeks and share the message by using the resources we have created to help you.
NCSAM focuses on a different cybersecurity issue for each week in October:
Week 1 October 1-3, 2014
Theme: STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Week 1 aims to raise online safety awareness among all Americans and reinforce STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and the simple measures everyone should take to be safer and more secure online.
Week 2 October 6-10, 2014
Theme: Secure Development of IT Products
Building security into information technology products is key to enhanced cybersecurity. Security is an essential element of software design, development, testing and maintenance. The software we use everyday on our phones, tablets, and computers may have vulnerabilities that can compromise our personal information and privacy. This week will target these stakeholders and educate others about what to do and look for in products.
Week 3: October 13-17, 2014
Theme: Critical Infrastructure and The Internet of Things
The Internet underlies nearly every facet of our daily lives and is the foundation for much of the critical infrastructure that keeps our nation running. The systems that support electricity, financial services, transportation, and communications are increasingly interconnected. The Internet of Things—the ability of objects and devices to transfer data—is changing the way we use technology. Week 3 highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and properly securing all devices that are connected to the Internet.
Week 4: October 20-24, 2014
Theme: Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Small and medium-sized businesses are an important part of our nation’s economy, but they often do not see themselves as a target for a cyber attack. Strong cybersecurity practices are vital within these organization. Entrepreneurs are recognizing the cybersecurity field as a burgeoning marketplace. This week will focus on what emerging and established businesses can do to protect their organization, customers and employees, as well as cybersecurity as a business opportunity using tools such as the DHS C3 Voluntary Program.
Week 5: October 27-31, 2014
Theme: Cybercrime and Law Enforcement
This week will help draw awareness to cybercrime and educate law enforcement officers about how to assist their communities in combating cybercrime and educate the general public with ways to protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft, fraud, phishing and other crimes.
Use 2014 National Cyber Security Awareness Month to begin incorporating STOP. THINK. CONNECT. into your online routine. Visit the Stay Safe Online website for more ideas on promoting National Cyber Security Awareness Month.