NCSAM 2015 is Here!
Today marks the first day of the 12th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a collaborative effort among government organizations, businesses of all sizes, educational institutions, nonprofits and consumers to ensure everyone has the resources they need to be safe online. Under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), NCSAM’s primary theme is “Our Shared Responsibility” to promote a safer, more secure and more trusted Internet.
In the last two years, we have witnessed large data breaches on a new scale impacting millions and millions of American lives. It started with significant retail data breaches that led to the loss of tens of millions of consumer credit card numbers in early and mid-2014 and was capped off recently with the large breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s millions of records on current and former government employees. In between, we experienced the Sony breach and the release of employee information and emails and several data breaches impacting health insurers, which exposed consumers’ most intimate health information.
Colleges and universities have not been immune from breaches either. Several institutions of higher learning have been attacked, and student and alumni information has been lost. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports that more than 670 million online records of Americans were exposed between 2005 and 2014. This onslaught of attacks and massive amounts of stolen data flowing to cybercriminals and others leaves many people with a sense that the Internet is broken and that there is nothing they can do to protect their personal information and guard their financial resources.
Even in the face of these mounting breaches, the Internet continues to emerge as a critical part of our daily lives. The technology brings us many benefits from instant connectivity with friends, family and colleagues to a new platform for innovation, commerce and community. At NCSA, we believe good cybersecurity enables us to get more and more out of our connected lives.
The purpose of NCSAM is to share actionable information with everyone so they can use the Internet safely and more securely. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-led by NCSA, DHS and APWG. NCSAM 2015 will highlight the overall message of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and the capstone concepts of the campaign: “Keep a Clean Machine,” “Protect Your Personal Information,” “Connect with Care,” “Be Web Wise” and “Be a Good Online Citizen.”
Check out the infographic we created to mark the launch of NCSAM 2015 here.
Each week in October, we will focus on a different cybersecurity issue or theme. We encourage individuals, communities and organizations to engage with the themes that are most relevant to them and join the global effort to spread cybersecurity and online safety awareness throughout the month.
Five Years of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.: Best Practices for All Digital Citizens
NCSAM will launch with a focus on making STOP. THINK. CONNECT. a guiding principle to help us have safer, more secure digital lives.
Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work
All businesses face cybersecurity challenges. This week will encourage businesses to proactively establish cultures of cybersecurity through employee education, risk management, planning and tools.
Connected Communities and Families: Staying Protected While We Are Always Connected
Cybersecurity means staying protected in all of the ways we connect. This week will share ways you can protect yourself and your family and what to do if you are a victim of a breach or cybercrime.
Your Evolving Digital Life
We are transitioning from an Internet of individuals connecting to technology to an Internet in which everything is connected. Securing this emerging Internet of countless devices is a challenge. This week will highlight how we can protect our evolving digital lives.
Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
One of the greatest risks to cybersecurity is a shortage of professionals to protect the networks we are creating. This week will provide information about cybersecurity careers and showcase the need for ongoing Internet safety and security education to promote cyber literacy for digital citizens.
@STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a Twitter chat every Thursday in October at 3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT. Each chat will align with the week’s theme, and we invite you to join the conversation by using the hashtag #ChatSTC.
We encourage you to support NCSAM on social media throughout the month by using the hashtag #CyberAware. Take the time to educate those around you to be safer and more secure online.. Learn how to get involved and find sample social media content you can download and share leading up to and throughout the month, profile images, memes, infographics and more at staysafeonline.org/ncsam.
More than 430 organizations (already surpassing the total number from 2014), and more than 90 individuals, have already shown their support for the month by becoming NCSAM Champions. Join the list today at staysafeonline.org/ncsam/champions.
We hope you will join us in supporting NCSAM 2015 and help spread the word about how everyone can stay safer and more secure online.