WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 27, 2017 – National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – an initiative co-founded and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – is just days away from its U.S. launch on Oct. 1. Now in its 14th year, NCSAM has grown to include countries around the world and will add expansive international support under the umbrella of Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM). Similar to NCSAM’s theme that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, CSAM’s core message is that the internet is a shared resource and securing it is our shared global responsibility.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety education and awareness campaign, is the cornerstone of this monthlong program to educate all consumers and businesses about the importance of cybersecurity and protecting personal information. STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ was co-founded in 2010 by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), and DHS leads the federal engagement in the campaign. STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is based on simple, actionable advice that anyone can follow by taking security precautions, thinking about the consequences of their actions online and enjoying the benefits of the internet. Check out this CSAM infographic for core STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tips you can use this October and year-round. The campaign has more than 700 partners globally.
“Each day, our world becomes increasingly connected. It is critically important for all digital citizens, governments and the private sector to work together to promote a safer, more secure and more trusted internet,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “NCSA is excited to partner with organizations around the world to foster a culture of cybersecurity through collaborative efforts that provide global citizens the information they need to be safe and more secure – now and in the future, as technology continues to evolve and advance.”
A Global Launch for CSAM
This year – and for the first time ever – CSAM will kick off with a global launch at the Organization of American States’ (OAS’) headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3. This event will highlight CSAM’s international adoption, including how to keep all global digital citizens safer and more secure online and how governments and the private sector can collaborate in their online safety efforts, and look ahead to the benefits of a globally secure internet. Speakers include representatives from NCSA, DHS, OAS, ADP, Amazon, AT&T, Cisco, RSA – the Security Division of EMC, Utah Valley University, the World Economic Forum and the governments of the United States, Colombia, Spain, Uruguay and Mexico. The day’s events will be translated into multiple languages and streamed live online so that digital citizens everywhere can join the conversation. Parallel to launch there will be daylong activities on Twitter using the hashtag #CyberAware and interviews with expert speakers on Facebook.
International Collaboration Highlights
Here is a snapshot of CSAM partners’ commitment to internet safety worldwide:
DHS understands that cyberspace threats do not operate within countries’ boundaries. DHS considers international coordination and cooperation priorities and interfaces with international organizations and governments every day. Raising cyber resiliency and improving online safety for digital citizens around the globe are some of the ways DHS collaborates internationally. DHS has a robust toolkit of tips and guidance for a wide range of audiences, which is available for internet users around the world to download.
European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)
“This is the fifth year in which ENISA is partnering with the Commission and the member states in carrying out European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) – which brings together experts across the European Union to generate awareness of cybersecurity challenges for everyday internet users. We are proud to work with our international partners and remind everybody of the importance of cyber hygiene, that cybersecurity is a shared global responsibility, and that all internet users should STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™,” said ENISA’s executive director, Prof. Udo Helmbrecht. More than 300 activities to promote safety online ‒ such as conferences, workshops, training sessions, summits, general presentations to users and online campaigns ‒ will take place throughout Europe during ECSM. The 2017 ECSM campaign will focus on cybersecurity in the workplace, governance, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity in the home, and skills in cybersecurity. ENISA’s launch event will take place at Tallinn University of Technology on Sept. 29.
OAS firmly considers that access to security online is now a fundamental part of security as a whole and, as such, it is a right that should be recognized and provided to all citizens, especially to the most vulnerable, including people living with disabilities or in remote or economically challenged areas. The OAS and its Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) are therefore encouraging all member states to join in the global celebration of CSAM this October. As the main political forum in the Western Hemisphere, which includes all 35 independent countries in the Americas, this year’s CSAM is based on the core theme, “The internet is a shared resource, and securing it is a shared responsibility” ‒ particularly in line with the OAS multilateral approach of working together to find solutions to common or shared issues. For this purpose, the CICTE Secretariat will be organizing a number of different awareness-raising events in September and October, such as the Cybersecurity Symposium for the Americas Region (Uruguay, Sept. 26-29); Global Launch of CSAM (United States, Oct. 3); Cybersecurity Leadership & Strategy Executive Certificate Program (United States, Oct. 17-18); and the Cybersecurity Symposium – Filling the Demand in Field of Cybersecurity (United States, Oct. 24).
U.S. Department of State
The President of the United States recognizes that cybersecurity is critical to global security. All nations have a responsibility to protect their own networks and information infrastructure and ensure their networks and systems are secure, reliable and resilient. The State Department is leading the U.S. government’s global efforts to promote an open, interoperable, secure and reliable information and communications infrastructure. This infrastructure supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security and fosters free expression and innovation. We continue to expand our worldwide effort to promote good cybersecurity awareness and due diligence practices using #CyberAware. Many international partners join our efforts to promote CSAM, including the European Union (EU), ENISA, OAS, the African Union (AU) and the economies that participate in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Telecommunications and Information Working Group (APEC-TEL). The recognition of October as CSAM is truly global. The U.S. State Department’s goal is to complement all efforts that promote cybersecurity awareness. Stay #CyberAware and join the global movement.
Be a Part of Something Big: Become a NCSAM Champion
One way you and/or your organization can participate in NCSAM is by 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 600 organizations and more than 300 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.
Join the internationally recognized character Garfield ‒ a NCSAM Champion and an icon for protecting children online – in supporting online safety awareness this October. Introduced last fall by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education (the Center) and legendary cartoonist Jim Davis, Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures include cartoons, comic books, posters, trading cards and stickers that show Garfield and friends tackling different cyber safety issues. In honor of NCSAM and National Bullying Prevention Month, the Garfield team and the Center just released Lesson 3: Be Kind Online, which shows children the consequences of cyberbullying. “Garfield has had to adapt to the digital age,” says Davis. “We’ve seen firsthand the problems kids face and hope that Garfield helps them realize they can have fun while learning to make smart choices online.”
Upcoming NCSAM Events
In addition to the global launch of CSAM on Oct. 3, NCSA and partners will host a number of events across the country leading up to and throughout NCSAM. Noteworthy upcoming events and initiatives include:
- #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: A Global Kickoff to CSAM, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 11:00-11:30 a.m. EDT/8:00-8:30 a.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: Join NCSA and partners for a pre-event Twitter chat live from the OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., to kick off the global launch of CSAM and discuss key topics and issues that will be highlighted. Participants will then be invited to tune in to the daylong activities online through the event livestream. Use #ChatSTC to join!
- #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ – Simple Steps to Online Safety, Thursday, Oct. 5, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT/12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: Staying safe and secure online is our shared responsibility, and it’s critical for any internet user to continually learn about and consistently practice good cybersecurity habits. This Twitter chat – coinciding with Week 1 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2017 – will address the top consumer cybersecurity concerns, provide simple steps to protect against these threats and teach you what to do if you fall victim to cybercrime. Use #ChatSTC to join!
- 2017 Baltimore Cyber Summit, Saturday, Oct. 7, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EDT), Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries Grand Fellowship Hall, 6000 Radecke Avenue, Baltimore, MD: The 2017 Baltimore Cyber Summit is a free cyber summit for the community. A diverse group of cyber experts will be there to share their vast knowledge and experience to help you – and inform and even inspire the next generation to pursue cyber careers.
- Insights on Cybersecurity for Electric Utilities, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EDT), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA: This event – hosted by the NRECA in collaboration with NCSA and DHS – will highlight expert commentary on what is being done in cybersecurity by the electric sector to help ensure affordable, reliable and resilient electricity for the nation.
- #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Cybersecurity in the Workplace Is Everyone’s Business, Thursday, Oct. 12, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT/12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT, Virtual/Online: Whatever your place of business, creating a culture of cybersecurity is an essential shared responsibility among leadership and all employees. Every organization needs a plan for employee education, training and awareness that emphasizes risk management, resistance and resilience. This Twitter chat will showcase how all businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most common cyber threats and strengthen their cyber resilience. Use #ChatSTC to join!
- Future of Authentication Policy Forum, Friday, Oct. 13, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (EDT), Civiletti Conference Center – Venable LLP, 600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.: The FIDO Alliance, NCSA and the Electronic Transactions Association are pleased to host this Future of Authentication Policy Forum to discuss the critical importance of strong, multi-factor authentication.
- 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 gov 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.
- Cybersecurity Leadership & Strategy Executive Certificate Program, Tuesday, Oct. 17 –Wednesday, Oct. 18, Miami, FL: Co-organized by the OAS and Florida International University (FIU), this initiative is a two-day advanced certificate program that engages academics, industry leaders and security professionals as they assess the most critical cyber threats. By attending this program, participants will learn effective approaches to implementing strategies and best practices regarding organizational structures, processes and legal considerations. Upon completion of the program, each participant will earn a certificate in cybersecurity leadership strategy from FIU.
Learn more about upcoming NCSAM events (and submit your own events to NCSA’s events calendar) at staysafeonline.org.
All month long in the U.S., you can follow the NCSAM conversation on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware (and tag your own posts with #CyberAware, too!). Additionally, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host weekly Twitter chats in support of NCSAM to discuss different topics and trends in cybersecurity. Tune in Oct. 3 at 11:00 a.m. EDT/8:00 a.m. EDT; Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26; and Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT to join the conversation, and 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 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 Institute; 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 staysafeonline.org/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.