ITD embraces caution message from
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
ITD joins other Idaho departments and local agencies in recognizing October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). As part of the awareness campaign, ITD reminds employees to use appropriate safeguards when using the Internet and e-mail communication, whether at work or at home.
October marks the sixth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, explains ITD Cyber Security Officer Forrest Anderson.
“The theme for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2009 is ‘Our Shared Responsibility’ to reinforce the message that all computer users, not just industry and government, have a responsibility to practice good “cyber hygiene” and to protect themselves and their families at home, at work and at school,” Anderson added.
He recommended following a few simple steps to remain safe online. “By doing so, you will not only keep your personal assets and information secure, but you will also help to improve the overall security of cyberspace.”
Cyber security requires vigilance 365 days per year. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the primary drivers of NCSAM, collaborate to shed a brighter light in October on what home users, schools, businesses and governments need to do to protect their computers, children, and data.
In 2008, National Cyber Security Awareness Month reached more than 29 million Americans through media, middle school and high school lesson plans and partnerships with dozens of companies and associations.
In addition, President George Bush declared support last year for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of the month and 41 state governors signed proclamations recognizing the month.
Our Shared Responsibility
Our lives are becoming web-based.
As the Internet becomes pervasive, we are online from home, school, work and in between on mobile devices, explains the national cyber security clearinghouse Staysafeonline.
“Even when we are not directly connected, our economy and much of the everyday infrastructure we rely on uses the Web.
“Ultimately, our cyber infrastructure is only as strong as the weakest link. No individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for cyber security. Everyone has a role, and everyone needs to share the responsibility to secure their part of cyber space and the networks they use. The steps we take may differ, based on what we do online and our responsibilities. However, everyone needs to understand how their individual actions have a collective impact on cyber security.
What are you doing for National Cyber Security Awareness Month?
The success of National Cyber Security Awareness Month rests with online users doing what they can to engage in awareness activities. Opportunities abound for everyone from home users to major corporations and government entities to get involved.
Staysafeonline.org offers a number of safety tips that can make online experiences productive, enjoyable and more secure. Follow the links below to obtain more information on the top six cyber security tips:
Know who you're dealing with online
Keep your web browsers and operating system up to date
Back up important files
Protect your children online
Use security software tools as your first line of defense
Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology to help protect your personal information
Learn what to do if something goes wrong