WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To promote greater public understanding of multi-factor authentication, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is announcing today the expansion of its education efforts under the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. umbrella. This will support a broader effort to increase public awareness of the individual's role in cybersecurity.
NCSA's declaration comes on the heels of President Obama's proclamation this morning to bolster the nation's cybersecurity, where he called for "Americans to move beyond just the password to leverage multiple factors of authentication when logging-in to online accounts." As a key, public-focused pillar of the newly announced multifaceted Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), the President highlighted NCSA's STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign and a new commitment by companies and nonprofits to engage in cybersecurity education and awareness. Read the full White House Fact Sheet here.
"The National Cyber Security Alliance applauds President Obama's dedication to the importance of cybersecurity awareness and education. We live in a digital age where people, networks and devices are increasingly interconnected, and everyone needs to use the Internet safely and more securely," said Michael Kaiser, NCSA's executive director. "The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign ‒ created with the support of our long-standing partners ‒ provides the first, basic step for all digital citizens. STOP to make sure security measures are in place. THINK about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online. CONNECT and enjoy your devices with more peace of mind."
Today, NCSA also announces a new multi-factor authentication education project with Logical Operations, New Horizons and CompTIA, the nation's leading information technology and training companies. They are partnering with NCSA to bring the existing STOP.THINK.CONNECT. "Get Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life" tour to 15 or more cities nationwide this year. Following a highly successful, Two Steps Ahead event in Rochester, N.Y. in December 2015, these three organizations agreed to join forces with NCSA. These interactive, in-person sessions deliver critical cybersecurity information directly to local communities where attendees learn how to turn on multi-factor authentication and why it is an essential online safety tool for every American.
"This collaborative effort reflects our commitment to social responsibility. The most important thing anyone can do to help fight cybercrime is to become more informed on how to better protect yourself. Multi-factor authentication training is an important step towards securing your personal information," said Bill Rosenthal, Logical Operations CEO and NCSA Board Member.
Using multi-factor identification ‒ for example, a one-time code texted to a mobile device ‒ helps verify a user has authorized access to an account. Activating this technology delivers peace of mind about the safety of one's online identity and sensitive personal data.
Over the past two years, the Get Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life tour, which is supported by Google, has visited dozens of local markets nationwide, featuring panel discussions led by cybersecurity and consumer protection experts, as well as hands-on demonstrations for attendees to learn how to implement the technology. Visit https://stopthinkconnect.org/campaigns/two-steps-ahead-campaign for the upcoming 2016 calendar and to learn more.
"We welcome the White House's recognition of NCSA and its many partners' year-round commitment to creating awareness around the safe and secure use of the Internet," said Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer of Microsoft and Chair of NCSA's Board of Directors. "Protecting the Internet is our shared responsibility. When we launched the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign our goal was to use a harmonized message to build an industry coalition and work with government to engage in cybersecurity education and awareness. As we see that effort grow with today's announcement, I know we are closer to creating a culture of cybersecurity that encourages digital citizens to take the right actions to protect their online data and identities."
Founded in 2010, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the global, online safety, awareness and education campaign led by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), with federal government leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The first-ever coordinated effort to help U.S. residents stay safer and more secure online, the campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations. In the last five years, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. has earned the support of 577 organizations ‒ including 315 partners from NCSA and 262 from DHS – all of whom are committed to sharing cybersecurity awareness across the country and around the world. As a collaborative, international effort, tips and resources are available in five languages. Click here for more information and STOP. THINK. CONNECT. milestones.
"STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is a message that has resonated around the globe," said Peter Cassidy, secretary general of APWG. "It is clear that no matter what the language, this simple message can help us understand the common sense measures that are within our control to improve the safety of our online experience."
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 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA's Board of Directors, which include representatives from ADP; AT&T; Bank of America; BlackBerry; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET; Facebook; Google; Intel; Logical Operations; Microsoft; PayPal; PKWARE; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Raytheon; Symantec; Verizon; and Visa. NCSA' s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October), Data Privacy Day (January 28), and STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the global online safety awareness and education campaign led by NCSA and the Anti Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.
SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance