WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The 17th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month kicks off today. Led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and held in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), this year's overarching theme for the month-long campaign -- "Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart" -- is aimed at raising awareness of digital security risks and empowering individuals and organizations to own their role in ensuring security in today's interconnected world.
A key call-to-action for the October initiative is, "If you connect it, protect it," which reinforces the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. More than ever, connected devices are an integral part of how people communicate and access services essential to their well being. By educating vulnerable audiences and training employees to recognize the importance of stronger security practices for connected devices, Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 can help people prioritize the creation of a safer environment for use at work and at home.
"This year, the NCSA's key themes for Cybersecurity Awareness Month address the extraordinary circumstances of recent times," said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance. "The COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives, making the need to stay connected through technology more important than ever. Our goal in 2020 is to ensure that users understand the impact of their reliance on connected devices, while arming them with the knowledge to own their role in staying safe and secure online, while minimizing their exposure to unnecessary cyber risks."
"From the way we used to work and learn – to how we socialize with our family and friends – all of this has significantly changed," said Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. "While our increased use of online platforms and virtual technologies present us with new ways to learn, work, and maintain our relationships, they also expose existing vulnerabilities and opportunities for cyber criminals to attack. Every day, it is important for every American to take an active role and ensure cybersecurity is an aspect of their personal and professional lifestyle."
As the world continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for connected technologies has accelerated. This year's Cybersecurity Awareness Month will address advancements in everything from healthcare and remote work, to personal devices and public infrastructure, dedicating each week to a respective topic, its effects on people's lives and highlighting the most effective ways to optimize security practices. The themed content for each week is as follows:
Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices
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 to help promote a safer, more secure and more trusted Internet. Becoming a Champion is easy and doesn't require any financial contribution. Champions include:
Over the course of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NCSA, CISA and key partners will share material and engage on social media with the goal of driving visibility around the month's key messages and themes, as well as to keep consumers and organizations informed about cybersecurity best practices. Narrative focal points for 2020 will revolve around connected personal and work device security, telehealth services and the future of connected devices (e.g. 5G and smart cities).
Connect with NCSA on social media and learn the latest Cybersecurity Awareness Month news by following and using the hashtags #BeCyberSmart. Additional information about the 2020 campaign, alongside resources such as tip sheets, presentation templates, logos, social media posts and content, can be found at: https://staysafeonline.org/resources/
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 staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/
About 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 Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCSA's Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AIG; American Express; Bank of America; Cofense;; Eli Lilly and Company; ESET North America; Facebook; Intel Corporation; Lenovo; LogMeIn; Marriott International; MasterCard; MediaPro; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; KnowBe4; NortonLifeLock; Proofpoint; Raytheon; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uber: U.S. Bank; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA's core efforts include Cybersecurity 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 the Department of Homeland Security; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit https://staysafeonline.org.
About the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the Nation's risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today's threats and collaborating to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.CISA was created in November 2018 as the first civilian cybersecurity agency in the U.S. federal government. The agency leads the national effort to defend critical infrastructure against the threats of today, while working with partners across all levels of government and in the private sector to secure against the evolving risks of tomorrow. For more information, please visithttps://www.cisa.gov.