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The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), the nation’s leading nonprofit empowering a more secure and interconnected world, today announced the kickoff of the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), marking two decades of their collaborative effort to raise public awareness around cybersecurity education and responsibility. This year’s theme, “Secure Our World,” will address the simple steps we can all take to keep our digital world secure and avoid online dangers.
The cybersecurity landscape has evolved significantly in two decades, largely driven by the rise of smartphones and other advanced technologies. Today, people are constantly connected to others globally, resulting in an ever-growing list of threats, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity education and training. While Cybersecurity Awareness Month has played a crucial role throughout the years in guiding consumers and businesses in adapting to new and emerging threats, there is constant education awareness to be shared and a broader audience to engage with. There’s an enhanced focus on teaching others within the security community and beyond. This year, the goal is to actively encourage the security community to share their knowledge and empower others with the skills needed to stay safe online.
This Cybersecurity Awareness Month will focus on the importance of security experts and how their shared knowledge and expertise can bolster digital resilience and security within the community at large. Through dedicated collaboration and mentorship, security professionals will empower individuals to navigate the digital landscape safely, ultimately fostering a more secure online ecosystem.
“Today, digital technology underpins nearly all aspects of our lives. If the last 20 years have shown us anything, it is that while cybersecurity has seen significant change – with advancements in technology, human behavior remains one of the most crucial elements in safeguarding our online activity,” said Lisa Plaggemier, Executive Director at the National Cybersecurity Alliance. “Ironically, the most effective protection from cyberthreats often comes from the simple and everyday practices we adopt, rather than the technology we use. By committing to ongoing education, training, and vigilance around fundamental security habits, individuals and organizations can play their part in protecting our collective digital lives.”
Cybersecurity Awareness Month will focus on promoting four key cybersecure behaviors that form the cornerstone of the organizations’ commitment to cybersecurity education and awareness:
- Using strong passwords and a password manager.
- Turning on multi-factor authentication.
- Updating software regularly.
- Recognizing and reporting phishing attempts.
With the support of event sponsors including Amazon, ADP, Google, KnowBe4, Optiv, Wells Fargo, Microsoft Security, Dell, Cyber Threat Alliance, and Bank of America, NCA provides access to a wealth of resources and events that empower individuals, businesses, and organizations to enhance their cybersecurity defenses.
“At ADP, our security programs mission is to protect our clients and associates and maintain the privacy of their data through secure delivery of innovative business solutions,” said Dave Martin, Chief Security Officer, ADP. “Continuing to raise security awareness for all our stakeholders is an important part of that mission, one that we focus on each and every day, especially during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.”
“Cybersecurity has come a long way in the past 20 years, bringing with it new technologies and best practices,” said Tatyana Bolton, Security Policy Manager, Google. “Today, we find ourselves at an interesting intersection of continuing that level of innovation while also getting back to basics and ensuring we as an industry are introducing technology responsibly. Moments like Cybersecurity Awareness Month continue to remind us of that focus, making sure we never deviate from the critical mission of keeping all online users safe.”
“At KnowBe4, we always aim to assemble and deliver effective, world-class security awareness and simulated social engineering programs that drive secure behaviors and culture change,” said Perry Carpenter, Chief Evangelist & Strategy Officer, KnowBe4. “There are many simple measures, such as using a password manager as well as being mindful and not clicking on suspicious or unexpected links, that can be taken for stronger online protection for those all around the world. We remain committed to participating in Cybersecurity Awareness Month every year because it is a reflection of our core values to empower employees to make smarter security decisions, every day.”
Becoming a Champion
By signing up to become a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion, organizations and individuals alike can become a part of October’s campaign and show their commitment to promoting a safer, more secure, and more trusted connected world. Upon registration, all Champions receive a toolkit of material to help them implement cybersecurity awareness initiatives and activities during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Becoming a Champion is easy and doesn’t require any financial contribution. To learn more and sign up, please visit https://staysafeonline.org/programs/champion/.
Attend the Virtual Kick-off
In honor of 20 years of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, elected officials, government leaders and industry executives will join to examine how far we’ve come and look at where we need to go. Register to attend the event on October 4: https://staysafeonline.org/programs/events/20-years-of-cybersecurity-awareness-month-kick-off-event/
Join the Conversation
During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NCA, CISA and key partners will share resources and engage on social media to drive increased visibility around the month’s key messages and themes to keep consumers and organizations informed about cybersecurity best practices.
Connect with NCA on social media and learn the latest Cybersecurity Awareness Month news by following and using the hashtags #SecureOurWorld and #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth.
For more information on Cybersecurity Awareness Month please visit https://staysafeonline.org/programs/cybersecurity-awareness-month/.
To learn more about ways you can become an online safety volunteer for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, please visit https://staysafeonline.org/programs/cybersecurity-awareness-month/teach-others-how-to-stay-safe-online/.
To learn more about Oh Behave! The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023, please visit https://staysafeonline.org/online-safety-privacy-basics/oh-behave/.
About Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public- and private-sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity to increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, the initiative has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer and more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit https://staysafeonline.org/programs/cybersecurity-awareness-month/.
About National Cybersecurity Alliance
The National Cybersecurity Alliance is a non-profit organization on a mission to create a more secure, interconnected world. We advocate for the safe use of all technology and educate everyone on how best to protect ourselves, our families, and our organizations from cybercrime. We create strong partnerships between governments and corporations to amplify our message and to foster a greater “digital” good. Our core efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Week (January); and the HBCU Career Program. For more information, please visit https://staysafeonline.org.