If you work in an office or work remotely, and have access to your organization’s network, systems and data, you probably don’t realize how high of a cybersecurity risk you are.
It’s okay—we can help. It just so happens that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). But it’s not just a “national” campaign these days. Cybersecurity is a global threat and as an individual, it is essential you realize the part you can play in greater cybersecurity awareness for yourself and your peers.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has grown into a global effort involving government agencies, businesses, academia, nonprofit organizations and individuals. These entities from around the world collaborate to promote online safety awareness and provide up-to-date resources to stay safe and more secure online while also protecting their personal information and identity.
Since Global Knowledge and many of our learning partners are NCSAM Champions, we believe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to promote better online safety habits at work and at home.
Whether it’s Panera, The Sacramento Bee, Target, or Equifax, every day the headlines reveal the latest security breach exposing millions of accounts full of personal data to the hacking world. From retail giants to the federal government, no organization is immune.
But don’t place all the cybersecurity blame on the complexity of large organizations. No matter how safe and secure your firm or agency try to be, all it takes is one misstep or an act of carelessness of one person to expose a network to a breach.
The likelihood that your personal information has been compromised via a retailer, financial agency, or branch of government is high—like 100% high—and most likely on more than one occasion. But despite that harrowing fact, the average person doesn’t realize their essential role in cybersecurity, and how it should become a part of their routine workday.
It’s been 15 years now since National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was conceived by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Nearly 900 organizations joined the NCSAM Champion program this year and will host thousands of global events to promote the campaign’s awareness goals during October.
So take time this month to educate yourself, your family and friends about cybersecurity. To help you reach that goal, each week in October will have a designated NCSAM cybersecurity theme:
Week 1: Oct. 1-5
Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
Throughout childhood, parents teach us basic safety practices. Today, online and privacy lessons are no different and parents should consider them as essential to a child’s upbringing as looking both ways when you cross the street. Who’s to say that starting early with a strong foundation of cybersecurity habits wouldn’t lead to a career in IT security one day. With the connected nature of modern-day homes and smart appliances, children should learn early to use the internet responsibly and ensure that networks and mobile devices are always secure.
Week 2 — October 8-12
Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
The continued shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem is adding to the risk of cyber threats. The best defense is developing the next generation of skilled cybersecurity professionals today. The career opportunities in cybersecurity are truly amazing and growing every day—and the positions pay exceptionally well too! Take time this month to educate students of all ages about the field of cybersecurity as they begin to consider their career options.
Week 3 — October 15–19
It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
“Not my job” is not a mantra popular in most workplaces. That is increasingly true of cybersecurity as well. Every department, not just IT, is charged with keeping network accessibility and client data secure. Waiters and receptionists, and even CIOs all have access to networks that can be exploited by hackers. Week 3 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month focuses on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness. This week emphasizes risk management, resistance and resilience to your fellow employees.
Week 4 — October 22–26
Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure
Any disruption to the nation’s infrastructure, like water, electricity, public health, and communications, each of which are operated via the internet, could cause catastrophic levels of consequences in a hurry if attacked. Week 4 focuses on securing our critical infrastructure while highlighting the roles the public can play to ensure continued operation. It leads directly into Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month launching in November.
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