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As our digital interconnectivity expands, online safety and privacy are critical.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Technology is advancing at lightning speed. Innovations like smart cities, cars and appliances and connected health care devices are quickly becoming part of our daily lives. While increasing interconnectivity and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) offer tremendous efficiencies and benefits to our lives ‒ at home, at work and on the go ‒ it’s essential to recognize that everyone plays a role in protecting this ever-expanding cyber ecosystem.
In the third week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – a far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative co-founded and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – NCSA will identify strategies for security, safety and privacy while using cutting-edge technology.
“Technology is booming worldwide. We are moving beyond a connected environment of laptops, PCs and smartphones to an internet of devices that surround us in streams of data. Now, as this advancing technology gets its first foothold in our lives, we need to remain vigilant and build out the next generation of the internet by continually making it safer and more secure,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “We must create a culture of cybersecurity around these smart devices and breakthrough technologies by understanding the benefits as well as the risks and learning how to take security precautions and protect our devices and data so we can enjoy these innovations with more peace of mind.”
Securing Breakthrough Technologies – The Next Five Years
On Monday, Oct. 16, NCSA is partnering with Nasdaq to host “Securing Breakthrough Technologies – The Next Five Years, a NCSA and Nasdaq Cybersecurity Summit” at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square. This event brings together experts from industry, government and academia to discuss cutting-edge innovations in artificial intelligence, the IoT, machine learning, authentication and standards and what they mean for the average person and how we interact with technology. Additionally, speakers will address the “Internet of Insecure Things” – in which many devices are manufactured without security built in – and the roles these technologies will play in advancing cybersecurity and a safer internet. The day’s events include engaging panel discussions and TED-style talks and conclude with the ringing of the Nasdaq Closing Bell in honor of NCSAM. Sponsors of the event include Cisco, Dell, Palo Alto Networks and ServiceNow.
“Cyber threats have changed radically with the evolution of technology and trends like the IoT and digitization. Cyber responsibility is not isolated to one person or one group – such as the information security team – or one piece of technology,” said Anthony Grieco, trust strategy officer at Cisco. “Cisco takes the mindset that security should be pervasive and ownership must span the entire organization and industry – people, process, technology and policy. Organizations like NCSA and events like NCSAM are crucial to industry success; they bring together collective thinkers in an effort to address collective challenges. We are excited and proud to be a part of this partnership.”
“Today, there is an explosion of data that’s being created, consumed and shared as organizations expand their digital footprint – and with that, they are all looking for ways to remain secure without sacrificing productivity. New markets like IoT can create a more complex environment, while emerging technologies like AI can provide opportunities to address the challenge in a new way,” said David Konetski, fellow and VP of security and client solutions at Dell. “At Dell, we’re driving new security and management paradigms targeted toward helping our customers and their infrastructure stay safe from attack and compromise. We’re proud to be part of this transformation and to be part of the solution.”
“As the pace and volume of sophisticated attacks continues to increase, organizations and consumers alike are grappling with the challenge of staying ahead of the constantly evolving threat landscape,” said Rick Howard, chief security officer of Palo Alto Networks. “National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an important reminder that our way of life in the digital age must be protected, and it’s imperative that we remain focused on safeguarding our digital infrastructure in October and beyond.”
“Attackers have fully embraced the use of cloud, task automation and orchestration, while enterprises are stuck using spreadsheets and manual labor to respond to threats,” said Brendan O’Connor, security chief technology officer at ServiceNow. “Enterprises need to use the same class of technology to defend themselves that bad actors are using to attack. Refinement of breakthrough technologies – such as intelligent automation – as part of security response strategy will play a huge role in the advancement of cybersecurity.”
NCSA’s Top STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips for Your Increasingly Connected Life
Rapidly advancing technology brings countless potential opportunities, but it’s important to remember to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ NCSA recommends following these tips to enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge tech with more peace of mind:
- Learn how to safeguard your IoT devices: Protecting devices like wearables and smart appliances can be different than securing your computer or smartphone. Research how to keep an IoT device secure before you purchase it, and take steps to safeguard your device over time.
- Pay attention to the Wi-Fi router in your home: Use a strong password to protect the device, keep it up to date and name it in a way that won’t let people know it’s in your house.
- Delete when done: Many of us download apps for specific purposes or have apps that are no longer useful or interesting to us. It’s a good security practice to delete apps you no longer use.
- Own your online presence: Understand what information your devices collect and how it’s managed and stored – and set the privacy and security settings on devices to your comfort level for information sharing.
- Research before you buy: Before adopting a new smart device, do your research to make sure others have had positive experiences from a security and privacy perspective.
- Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
Check out the latest NCSAM infographic for tips on protecting your always-on family and connected home (download and share it on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware!).
Be a Part of Something Big: Become a NCSAM Champion
One way you and/or your organization can participate in NCSAM is becoming a NCSAM Champion. Champions represent those dedicated to promoting a safer, more secure and more trusted internet. Becoming a Champion is easy and does not require any financial support. There are already more than 950 organizations and more than 450 individuals signed up to support the month. Champions receive a toolkit of online safety awareness and education materials they can use to support the month and updates leading up to and throughout October on resources, upcoming events and ways to get involved.
Upcoming NCSAM Events
NCSA and partners will host a number of events across the country up to and throughout NCSAM. Noteworthy upcoming events and initiatives include:
- Securing Breakthrough Technologies – The Next Five Years, a NCSA and Nasdaq Cybersecurity Summit, Monday, Oct. 16, 11:30 a.m. – 2:50 p.m. EDT/8:30-11:50 a.m. PDT, Times Square, New York, NY/Virtual: Future technologies are proliferating worldwide, from smart cities and autonomous cars to connected coffee makers and healthcare devices. This massive interconnectivity expands our ability to gain insight about who we are and our global societies. This never-before-seen phenomenon also provides countless opportunities for bad actor exploits. Will artificial intelligence, machine learning, standards or even authentication provide the solutions to a safer and more secure connected world? Great minds will debate these issues and more. In honor of NCSAM, NCSA and Nasdaq will host the NCSA and Nasdaq Cybersecurity Summit. The event will be livestreamed in two parts: the first from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT and the second from 1:05 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT here. Additionally, from 12:40 to 1:00 p.m. EDT Nasdaq will stream interviews with speakers from its studio on Facebook Live.
- DC CyberWeek, Monday, Oct. 16 – Friday, Oct. 20, Washington, D.C. (multiple locations): DC CyberWeek is a weeklong SXSW-style festival in our nation’s capital bringing together leaders, experts and decision makers from the government and tech communities. The festival features dozens of community events complemented by core conferences and parties created by the festival organizer, CyberScoop. DC CyberWeek is about big ideas and coming together to make an impact on the greater good of our connected world.
- Cyber Security & Technology Conference, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EDT), 903 Manchester Street, Suite 190, Lexington, KY: Business leaders, professionals and thought leaders will convene in Lexington, for a one-day interactive conference hosted by Integrity IT. The event will explore the latest in the field of information technology and the newest cyber crime prevention methods. Through presentations, discussions and technology spotlights, you will develop and build long-term actionable strategies designed to help improve your security posture. You will leave with solutions to implement the very next day.
- Cyber Security Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 18 – Thursday, Oct. 19, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL: Cyber Security Chicago offers invaluable security insight for both IT managers and security decision makers. Hear from industry experts about how you can build stronger defenses against cyber attacks and how to recover if your systems are breached.
- SecureWorld Dallas, Wednesday, Oct. 18 – Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX: Join your fellow security professionals for affordable, high-quality cybersecurity training and education. Attend featured keynote presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions – all while networking with local peers. Earn 6-12 CPE credits through educational elements, learning from nationally recognized industry leaders. Visit the expo hall and discover the latest technologies from security solutions providers. Use a NCSA promo codeat registration to get a discount on your pass.
- Can the Internet of Insecure Things Be Saved? Thursday, Oct. 19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT/10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: In this webinar hosted by RSA Conference and NCSA, great minds will debate issues surrounding the IoT and security in honor of NCSAM.
- #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet, Thursday, Oct. 19, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT/12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: Smart cities, connected healthcare devices, digitized records and smart cars and homes have become our new reality. While always-on technology makes our lives more convenient and unlocks potential for the future, it is fueled by our personal information, which presents security and privacy concerns for both consumers and businesses. This Twitter chat – coinciding with Week 3 of NCSAM – will highlight the growing IoT and discuss how to use cutting-edge technology in safer and more secure ways. Use #ChatSTC to join!
- Higher Ed Cyber Security Challenge Presented by Symantec, Thursday, Oct. 19 – Friday, Oct. 20, Virtual: Does your school have the best cybersecurity team in higher education? Register your cyber team to compete in Symantec’s first-ever nationwide Higher Ed Cyber Security Competition. The competition will help higher education cybersecurity leaders understand the vulnerabilities of today’s global threat landscape, gain critical security intelligence and put their skills to the test in a high-pressure environment.
- Free Computer Workshop – Six Steps to Better Security, Saturday, Oct. 21, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EDT), 184 Phelps Street, Painesville, OH: TERKK’s Computer Services LLC, has partnered with Morley Library to offer a free community workshop to enhance your technical skills.
- EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar: Shifting to Security Awareness 2.0, Monday, Oct. 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT/10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: This presentation by Jason Hoenich, founder and chief product officer at Habitu8, will discuss in-depth the risks related to delivering poor awareness programs versus adapting to changing needs and demands of the attack surface and learning behaviors of humans. Incorporating the key fundamental behavioral psychology nodes for establishing true culture change and the experience of the end user will move our programs to Security Awareness 2.0.
- SecureWorld Cincinnati, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (EDT), 11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH: Join your fellow security professionals for affordable, high-quality cybersecurity training and education. Attend featured keynote presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions – all while networking with local peers. Earn 6-12 CPE credits through educational elements, learning from nationally recognized industry leaders. Visit the expo hall and discover the latest technologies from security solutions providers. Use a NCSA promo codeat registration to get a discount on your pass.
- CyberNextDC: Privacy. Partnerships. Protection, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (EDT), Venable LLP, 600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 9th Floor, Washington, D.C.: In honor of NCSAM, the Coalition for Cybersecurity Policy & Law, the Cyber Threat Alliance and The National Security Institute at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law will host this inaugural policy day in Washington. This daylong event will feature prominent members of the cybersecurity community as well as congressional and administration leadership who are actively engaged in cybersecurity policy issues. The event will also feature top policymakers, leading industry practitioners and other experts discussing the current state of cybersecurity, fostering critical discussions among participants and identifying forward thinking approaches to improve cybersecurity.
- Finding a Career in Cybersecurity: Panel on Job Success, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: For those looking to break into the cybersecurity industry, the options can be overwhelming. Should you go back to school? Do online courses? How do you find the right role that matches your passions and skills? In this free webinar, hosted by Learning@Cisco and a panel of cybersecurity professionals, we’ll be diving into how to answer these questions and more.
- #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: The Internet Wants You – Consider a Career in Cybersecurity, Thursday, Oct. 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT/12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: A key risk to our economy and security is the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to protect our extensive networks. Week 4 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is all about growing the next generation of a skilled cyber workforce. In this NCSAM Twitter chat, we’ll discuss the many exciting and rewarding opportunities in the field of cybersecurity and provide tips and resources for both new and seasoned professionals looking to gain cybersecurity expertise. Use #ChatSTC to join!
Learn more about upcoming NCSAM events (and submit your own events to NCSA’s events calendar) at stagestaysafe.wpengine.com.
Helpful Resources from NCSA and Partners
- NCSAM Infographic – Inside Your Connected Home: Protect Your Always-On Family
- DHS’ Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit: The Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit provides a variety of cybersecurity resources including tip cards on the Internet of Things, Best Practices for Using Public WiFi, Online Privacy and more.
- DHS Securing the Internet of Things: This resource was developed by DHS to help the public better understand the Internet of Things, and more importantly how it relates to cybersecurity. Additional resources include the Internet of Things Fact Sheet and Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things.
- S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT): US-CERT is part of DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. US-CERT leads efforts to improve the Nation’s cybersecurity posture, coordinate cyber information sharing, and proactively manage cyber risks to the Nation. Sign up to receive tips, alerts, current activity reports and bulletins on their website.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- What you need to know to secure your IoT device: The FTC blog gives some quick tips to keep your IoT device safe from hackers.
- Using IP Cameras Safely: Network or internet cameras – usually marketed as IP cameras – are popular for keeping an eye on your property, your family and your pets. These cameras provide live video and audio feeds that you can access remotely using an internet browser. But many IP cameras on the market are vulnerable to digital snooping, making security features key when you shop for and use these devices.
- Midyear Cybersecurity Report: Cisco’s Midyear Cybersecurity Report provides research and analysis of the latest cybersecurity vulnerabilities and offers insight on detecting threats and preventing attacks.
- The Network’s Role in Securing the IoT: In this blog post, Anthony Grieco discusses the responsibility of IoT manufacturers, developers and vendors to adhere to security requirements and the need to establish a set of industry standards.
- Palo Alto Networks
- Cybersecurity Awareness Means Data Awareness: The streetlight effect refers to only searching for something where it is easiest. In today’s world, companies often approach cybersecurity in this way, searching for things where the light is brightest, even if it’s the wrong place.
- Practical Advice for Achieving a Diverse Cybersecurity Industry: Youth and mentorship programs, and rethinking strategies around changing ingrained workplace behavior, can help us get there.
- Rethink the Security Breach: Organizations struggle to detect and address information security breaches. Senior executives say the volume of threats is overwhelming processes, employees and infrastructure. The answer is to rethink the security response.
All month long, you can follow the NCSAM conversation on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware (and tag your own posts with #CyberAware, too!). Additionally, @STOPTHNKCONNECT is hosting weekly Twitter chats in support of NCSAM to discuss different topics and trends in cybersecurity. Tune in for hourlong chats Oct. 19 and 26 and Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT; visit the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ website for the full chat schedule. NCSA has created sample social media posts, infographics, posters, memes and more that you can download and share, and that encourages organizations and individuals to show their support for NCSAM and get the latest resources by registering as NCSAM Champions. Finally, check out the Stay Safe Online blog for NCSAM posts from NCSA and partners during the month of October.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 14th year, NCSAM was co-founded and is co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizens around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSA media room for more information and resources.
About the National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; Aetna; AT&T Services Inc.; Bank of America; Barclays; CDK Global, LLC; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Google; Facebook; LifeLock, Inc.; Logical Operations; NXP Semiconductors; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Symantec Corporation; Intel Corporation; MasterCard; Microsoft Corporation; PayPal; Raytheon; PKWARE; Salesforce; SANS Security Awareness; TeleSign; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28) and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit stagestaysafe.wpengine.com/about.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group. DHS leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at stopthinkconnect.org.