October brings with it the 15th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a collaborative initiative between government and industry that aims to ensure all Americans have the appropriate resources to stay safe and secure online.
Since its inception in 2004, NCSAM has been driving to turn internet security into a shared responsibility for customers, businesses, and those who work within the cyber industry. NCSAM 2018 focuses on user awareness among consumers, students/academia and businesses while addressing specific challenges and identifying opportunities for behavioural change.
Each year the event is divided into key themes, one for each week throughout October. These are the 4 key themes of this year’s event.
Week 1: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
Week 1 of NCSAM 2018 focuses on addressing cybersecurity issues within the home. Every day parents and caregivers across the country are teaching their children safety tips such as how to safely cross the road and to avoid strangers. While these are crucial lessons to teach children, in the modern day it’s just as important to educate children on key cybersecurity practices and ensure the whole family are able to protect their home against cyber threats.
Week 2: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
The growing cybersecurity skill gap is a big challenge that is continuing to impact the ever growing cyber industry. Week two of NCSAM 2018 aims to help increase interest and inspire students in an attempt to raise the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The opportunities to train new cyber professionals of all ages are endless. While schools and higher education facilities offer the opportunity for the younger generation, cybersecurity also provides an opportunity for veterans and professionals who are looking for a new career to enter a growing and rewarding industry.
Week 3: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
No matter what industry you work in – whether it’s healthcare, government, or even a local restaurant – ensuring the safety and security of your business online should be a collective responsibility. In week 3 the focus will be on increasing cybersecurity education and training throughout the workforce while improving awareness and emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience. In addition to this, with the increasingly blurred lines between work life and daily life, and the increased adoption of BYOD initiatives, it’s becoming more and more important to ensure that cybersecurity practices carry across both.
Week 4: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure
The final week of NCSAM 2018 focuses on protecting the cybersecurity of the country’s critical infrastructure that supplies facilities such as food, water, and communications. A disruption to any of these internet connected systems could result in catastrophic consequences across the country. The role of the public in ensuring the safety of such facilities is crucial and a key focus of the final week of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility
We live in a world where you can’t go a day without interacting with the internet, our day-to-day lives revolve around the online world. Every individual plays a role in ensuring the security of this vast infrastructure by taking the security of their personal cyberspace into their own hands all year round – not just during National Cyber Security Awareness Month. To find out more visit https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/.