October marks the 16th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an event created by leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the National Cyber Security Alliance. The emphasis by federal, state and local leaders is to create increased cybersecurity awareness among consumers, business, corporations, and schools. In particular, consumer cybersecurity awareness will be highlighted through public service and outreach campaigns.
This year will also mark the 6th anniversary of the STOP.THINK.CONNECT campaign. This is a cooperative effort of private, non-profit, and government organizations that features weekly themes of cybersecurity in order to create tangible topics and discussion.
- Week 1: October 3-7, will lead with the STOP.THINK.CONNECT. campaign with basic steps for online safety. The main goal of this week is to promote individual awareness of online safety while still giving simple steps to increase personal cybersecurity.
- Week 2: October 10-14, will focus on business and workplace cybersecurity. The primary goal of this week will be to promote employee education with an emphasis on skill building of existing and potential new personnel.
- Week 3: October 17-21, will focus on recognizing and combating cybercrime. Emphasis will be placed on cooperation between private sector, public organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement in order to collectively battle cybercrime. Awareness of cybercrimes and steps for protection will also be featured this week.
- Week 4: October 24-28, will focus on rapidly advancing and expanding technologies. Examinations of the future of an increasingly connected society will be given along with strategies for security, safety, and privacy.
The final week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month will focus on the importance of critical infrastructure and the role of the public in its security. At this time the transition will made to Critical Infrastructure and Resilience Month in November.
Cybersecurity is a serious issue that must be addressed with a cooperative effort from all sectors. Although 2016 will focus on the role of the consumer, it is important to remember that cybersecurity is a collective effort by everyone to stay cyber safe online.
For more information about cyber security and online safety, visit staysafeonline.org.