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15 Years of National Cyber Security Awareness Month

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the launch of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), but that’s exactly where stand as we kickoff the month of October. So in addition, to closing the book on summer and welcoming fall harvests, pumpkin patches and picking out the best Halloween outfits, we encourage you not to forget about cyber security tips and best practices. 

Since its inception in 2004, October has represented NCSAM, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM is designed to engage and educate both public and private sector organizations through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and to provide tools and resources needed to stay safe online. 

We have seen a lot of change and progress since 2004 and over the course of the last 15 years in the industry. What’s in store this year for NCSAM 2018? As you’ve likely seen in the past, each week in October will be dedicated to a specific cybersecurity theme and topic of focus. We’ll have content corresponding with each of those themes here on the RSAC blog and hope you’ll jump in on the discussion and share these pieces across your social platforms. The themes for 2018 include:  

  • Week 1 (10/1-10/5): “Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety”  

Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry. Week 1 will underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.

  • Week 2 (10/8-10/12): “Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity”

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. Week 2 will address ways to motivate parents, teachers and counselors to learn more about the field and how to best inspire students and others to seek highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.

  • Week 3 (10/15-10/19): “It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work”

Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience. NCSA’s CyberSecure My Business™ will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.

  • Week 4 (10/22-10/26): “Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure”

Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. In addition, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In the spirit of kicking off NCSAM, we want to include some resources on simple safety tips for you to share with family or coworkers looking for safety information this month:

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education 

Stay Safe Online: Online Safety Basics

Stop. Think. Connect. Tips & Advice 

DHS: Stop. Think. Connect. Toolkit 

DHS: National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Don’t forget that the hashtag for NCSAM is #CyberAware – we encourage you to use this and the conference hashtag #RSAC during the month of October to promote your organization’s involvement in raising cybersecurity awareness. We hope you’ll return to our blog throughout the month of October to check out new content that we hope you will find helpful. We look forward to seeing your efforts throughout the month and beyond!

Posted on October 1, 2018

Sandra Toms

by Sandra Toms

VP and Curator, RSA Conference

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