Thank You for a Fantastic National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Oct 31, 2012 7:46am

Today is the last day of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). It will take some time to crunch all the numbers and capture the full picture of everything that took place but I sense that this was the best NCSAM ever.

I often get asked how I measure success of the Month. We have basic measures around media pick up, number of events held, social media engagement and others. However, my best measure is what other parts the community have done to engage and educate the people around them to stay safer and more secure online.

I am thrilled by what I have seen going on this month.  Numerous colleges and universities have active programs on campuses educating students on online safety. Local governments and police departments have provided information to citizens. The business community, large and small, have reached out to customers with safety and security messaging reaching many millions of people. See the list of all the organizations and industry partners that were champions of NCSAM.

At the National Cyber Security Alliance, we are thankful for all the efforts everyone takes to make people aware of how stay safe online. At its core, NCSAM is an organic, grass roots effort. If we are going to teach every digital citizen to use the Internet wisely, we need the people they trust to be their guides. We saw tremendous activity in the social media arena. We had numerous contributors to our tweet chats, which are archived on our blog and many people used the #ncsam hash tag to join the online activity on Twitter.

That isn’t to say that we weren’t busy.  Our events in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security were fantastic and we released a lot of new data as well.

We launched the month at the Peter Kiewit Institute at the University of Nebraska Omaha. We were joined by White House Cyber Security Coordinator Michael Daniel and Department of Homeland Security Deputy Under Secretary Mark Weatherford. Many of our corporate partners joined together to provide a full afternoon on how to keep you business cyber secure.  On October 1, we also launched our annual study with McAfee on the online safety posture and attitudes of Americans. President Obama also proclaimed  October National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Since the theme of week one was STOP. THINK. CONNECT. the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. We were pleased too be able to launch a campaign in the DC metro system. We think the posters are great and you can see them and download them here.  We also created an infographic based on the study.

Following Omaha we were off to Miami were participated with the Secret Service Field Office on a discussion of cybercrime.  We also released additional data from the study with McAfee. Of those surveyed, 17% reported being a victim of crime over the Internet. We also created a downloadable brochure for cybercrime victims. 

During week three our focus was business. We opened the NASDAQ Market on October 15th with DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and White House Cyber Security Coordinator Michael Daniel and industry leaders. We had a great day the NASDAQ including discussions about current trends in cybersecurity and how to innovate in the cybersecurity.  We also released our annual Small Business Cybersecuritystudy with Symantec that continues to show the need for SMB’s to implement more security practices. We created another infographic based on the SMB study findings.

We closed out the month with a focus on education with an event at the National Press Club with government and industry leaders talking about the need for the next generation of cybersecurity professionals as well as basic digital literacy for all. In addition, we released additional findings from our SMB study with Symantec that showed the kinds of skills related to the safe, secure and ethical use of technology that SMB owners see as critical.

We are always out to improve National Cyber Security Awareness Month. If you have ideas for next year (our 10th anniversary!) let us know. You can share those ideas or what you did this year with us at

Hurricane Sandy forced us to take few needed days of rest at the month’s end as Washington, DC was shut down during the storm.  We came through fine. Our hearts go out to our family, friends and colleagues up and down the East Coast that were hard hit by Sandy. We wish them a full and speedy return to some sort of normalcy.

Once again, many thanks to all. A full report on NCSAM will be available toward the end of the year.

Next stop: Data Privacy Day coming in January.


Michael Kaiser