October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of Cyber Security and provide Americans with the necessary tools and resources to stay safe and secure online, as well as improve the nation’s resilience against any potential cyber incidents.
Businesses of all sizes, types, and functions should ensure employees are working together to create a culture of cybersecurity at all times. This means implementing a robust employee education program focused on cyber risk management and awareness, and regularly providing staff with training updates.
The organizers behind NCSAM will be offering a series of resources and workshops for organizations to push these messages, including a simplified version of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Security Framework.
Now in its 14th year, NCSAM has grown significantly in order to meet the needs of large corporations, small businesses, educational institutions and consumers of all ages. The event is split into five different topics of focus, one for each week of the month.
Week 1 – Simple steps to online safety
NCSAM asks all internet users to follow the Stop, Think, Connect framework.
- Stop: make sure security measures are in place.
- Think: about the consequences of online behaviour and actions.
- Connect: and enjoy the internet.
Week 2 – Cyber Security in the workplace
Every organization needs a plan for employee education, training and awareness that emphasizes risk management, resistance and resilience. Week two will showcase how businesses of all types can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most common cyber threats. The week will also look at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework.
Week 3 – Today’s predictions for tomorrow
As technology and connectivity develops at a rapid rate, it’s vital to identify key strategies for protecting security, safety, and privacy not just for today, but for many years to come.
Week 4 – Growing a stronger defense
According to risk predictions from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, there may be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers by 2022. The penultimate week of NCSAM will focus on encouraging a continuous growth and development of a skilled and educated Cyber Security workforce.
Week 5 – Protecting critical infrastructure
Core institutions and infrastructure are becoming increasingly dependent on the internet and tech integration today. This paves the way for greater threat from cyber attacks, and the final week is all about building resilience against this modern risk in order to achieve improved national security.
Everyone is responsible for cyber security
When it comes to improving cyber awareness and security, every individual has a vital role to play in securing their own part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use – not just during National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but all the year through.
Individual actions lead to a collective impact through implementing stronger security practices, raising public awareness, educating young people or training employees. This will lead to a more protected and resilient nation.
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