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National Cyber Security Alliance Celebrates Success and Growth of Awareness Month and Reminds Citizens to Stay Safe Online Year-Round



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Washington, DC, Nov. 17, 2014 – On Oct. 31, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) wrapped up its 11th year, closing out a month that showed an astounding support of partners, a number of key cybersecurity events and a marked increase in audience reach.

Early data demonstrates the scope of NCSAM 2014. Both National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the #NCSAM hashtag experienced tremendous recognition during the month, with Twitter mentions increasing by 250 percent in comparison to last year. In addition, NCSAM also generated a steep increase in the number of Champions who joined on ‒ that is, companies, schools, municipalities and non-profit institutions that pledged their support to NCSAM. Numbering 405 by the end of the month, their commitment to keeping people safe online is well illustrated.  

Celebrated every October, NCSAM is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with NCSA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and involves the participation of a various industry leaders – reaching consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people. NCSAM’s many partners included AT&T, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Business Executives for National Security (BENS), EDUCAUSE, ESET, Facebook, McAfee, Microsoft, Raytheon, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Visa.  

These organizations, and many more across the United States and internationally, held grassroots awareness events, released educational materials, engaged local media and took various steps to help educate citizens on how to protect themselves while online.

“The continued success and growth of NCSAM show that more Americans understand that our increasing digital connectivity also makes us increasingly vulnerable,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. “The good news is they’re also educating themselves on how to protect their networks and their personal information. Thanks to the enthusiastic and continued support of our partners, NCSAM is helping to make that happen.”

“NCSAM touches every demographic, encouraging Americans to work together to create a culture of cybersecurity that will build a safer, more secure and trusted Internet,” said Marcus Sachs, NCSA board vice chair and vice president of national security policy for Verizon. “By bringing industry leaders together, we are able to spread this vital message during the month of October, highlighting the best cybersecurity measures we all must put into practice throughout the year.”

Falling under the month’s broader theme of “Our Shared Responsibility,” the topics for the five weeks of NCSAM 2014 were:

NCSAM events throughout the country, including more than 200 activities and events at college campuses, drew thousands of business leaders, journalists, cybersecurity professionals, students and government officials. The following is small sample of events during the month:

  • The Cyber Threat: Addressing the Needs of Law Enforcement: In development with DHS, NCSAM held a keystone event at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) on Oct. 26 in Orlando, Florida, to highlight cybercrime and law enforcement.
  • Cybersecurity for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs: DHS, Capital Factory, the University of Texas and the Austin Chamber of Commerce held a keystone event on Oct. 21 in Austin highlighting the cyber risks, best practices and resources most applicable to small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs for protecting data and intellectual property.
  • Nasdaq Closing Bell Ceremony and Media Roundtable: NCSA, in partnership with RILA, BENS and Nasdaq, rang the bell closing the Nasdaq Marketsite on Oct. 21 and the next day  held a media roundtable, “Where Do We Go From Here: Collaboration, Innovation and the Future of Cybersecurity.”
  • Securing Our Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things: A National Cyber Security Awareness Month Keystone Event: Held in conjunction with DHS and NCSA, the Cyber Center for Excellence in San Diego held a discussion on Oct. 15 with panelists from around the country on these two critical issues in cybersecurity.
  • CIO Insights on Cybersecurity: EDUCAUSE held a live webinar on Oct. 14 featuring three higher education chief information officers who discussed current information security issues on their campuses and educated students and IT professionals on how to maintain privacy on campus.
  • Better Business Bureau Secure Your ID Day: On Oct. 11, BBBs across North America held an identity theft prevention event featuring free on-site shredding and electronic recycling and identity protection tips. BBBs also held educational events, media interviews and other promotions to encourage cybersecurity best practices among consumers and businesses.
  • AT&T Hackathon: Partnering with the Howard University School of Business, AT&T hosted the “AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in D.C.” on Oct. 10 and 11. With a women-in-tech focus, the event helped open up doors for entrepreneurs, students and professionals who are inspired by the power of technology to develop mobile apps using cutting-edge platforms and hardware supplied on site.

“As advancing higher education through technology is the core of our mission, EDUCAUSE is delighted to be a part of NCSAM each year,” said Valerie Vogel, Cybersecurity Program Manager for EDUCAUSE. “Through a steady drumbeat of education and awareness, we will keep ourselves, our businesses, our universities and our government institutions more secure.”

Though National Cyber Security Awareness Month has ended, NCSA reminds consumers and businesses to be cyber aware and protect their digital assets year-round (to see how our Internet use impacts the country’s critical infrastructure, visit http://ncsam.info/1oLvs4t). For more resources on how to stay safe online, visit:


Data Privacy Day

While NCSA promotes awareness and education on cybersecurity throughout the year, its next major event is Data Privacy Day. Observed annually on January 28, Data Privacy Day is an international effort centered on "Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust."

Data Privacy Day depends on participation from              a broad range of stakeholders to educate their respective constituencies by hosting events, creating privacy resources, writing blogs, promoting on social media and other types of engagement. For more information, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/.


About National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Now in its 11th year, NCSAM is co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the NCSA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Celebrated each year in October, NCSAM includes the participation of a multitude of industry leaders – reaching consumers, small and medium-size businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people. Mobilizing everyone – from small businesses, local non-profits and academia to multinational corporations and governments – NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.


About The National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit public private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet. Working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors and non-profit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness, NCSA board members include representatives from ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast Corporation, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, Leidos, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Symantec, Target, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, NCSA’s mission is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely, protect themselves and the technology they use and protect the digital assets we all share. For more information on NCSA please visit: http://www.staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/ 


About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).  The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at stopthinkconnect.org.




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Jessica Beffa
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