Nationwide Effort to Increase Awareness of Online Safety and Security Includes New Focus Areas for Law Enforcement, Small Business, and Professional Development
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cyber security awareness and education for all digital citizens, today marks the beginning of the 2011 National Cyber Security Awareness Month, building upon an expansive agenda targeting new audiences and partnerships both in the U.S. and overseas. In addition to traditional awareness themes such as cyber security practices at home and in schools, this year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month will explore how cyber security impacts and affects small businesses, law enforcement, the nation's workforce, and professional development.
NCSA, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, has sponsored National Cyber Security Awareness Month every October since its founding in 2004. Together, these organizations strive to empower consumers, schools, businesses and government agencies to stay safe online, devoting the full month of October to public awareness and education.
During this year's activities, NCSA and its partners will focus on a specific awareness theme each week to allow for a more coordinated nationwide effort. The first week will include a kick-off event in Michigan on October 7th with messaging tied to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ – the first ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The second week will be devoted to raising awareness on the importance of education and developing a "cyber-ready" workforce, the third week will focus on cybercrime and law enforcement and the month will close with a focus on cybersecurity and business. NCSA will also release key research and data throughout the month pertinent to each weekly theme and the overall importance of online safety and security.
"With cyber attacks on the increase, it's important that Internet users better understand how to protect their sensitive information online, whether they are at work or at home," said John Havermann of EMC Corporation and President of NCSA's Board of Directors. "We are pleased that the nationwide effort to increase cyber security education and awareness continues to gain momentum, particularly as advanced cyber threats become more commonplace and users' traditional information security defenses are challenged."
Cyber security also represents an important economic security issue for the nation and its businesses. According to a new survey of U.S. small business owners sponsored by NCSA and Symantec and conducted by Zogby International that will be released later this month, seven in ten (69%) report that Internet security is critical to their business's success.
"Everyday our economy and our lives become more reliant on a safe and secure Internet. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a time to remember that protecting the Internet and our digital assets is our shared responsibility," said Michael Kaiser, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance. "Awareness starts with the simple message STOP. THINK. CONNECT. as a way for everyone to navigate the Internet with caution and confidence. We will be successful when each of us practices online safety and security practices and also takes the time to educate our family, friends and co-workers to do the same."
In addition to a variety of other activities, the National Cyber Security Alliance will sponsor several flagship events throughout the month, including:
WEEK ONE -- STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
On October 7, 2011 in Ypsilanti, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other officials will join NCSA stakeholders and leaders from the Department of Homeland Security to officially kick-off National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The official launch event will take place during the Michigan Cyber Summit and is expected to draw highly regarded cyber security experts from around the world. NCSA leaders will also share several findings from a national poll on security and online safety for users. This event will be available for participation via Facebook Live. For more details or to register, please visit: www.michigan.gov/cybersummit.
In partnership with NCSA, and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, TechAmerica will host a live viewing of the launch event in Michigan and feature remarks by industry and government leaders. This event will be held on Oct. 7th at Lockheed Martin's Global Vision Center in Arlington, VA just outside of Washington DC. For details and to register visit: http://www.techamerica.org/national-cybersecurity-2011.
WEEK TWO – CYBER SECURITY EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The following week, on October 13th, NCSA along with the Churchill Club of Silicon Valley, will host a discussion on cyber security education and workforce development on the campus of Google in Mountain View, California. The event will feature a panel of public and private sector experts on cyber security and will focus on the critical need to address cyber security education at all levels from K-12 and institutions of higher learning to professional development. The event will also touch upon the growing career field in cyber security. For more information or to register, please visit: www.churchillclub.com
WEEK THREE – CYBER CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
NCSA, along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will hold a thought leadership roundtable event on October 18th focusing on cybercrime and law enforcement. This event will include a number public and private sector officials and thought leaders on cyber security along with federal/local law enforcement officials. The goal of the event is to discuss cybercrime is a growing focus area for law enforcement and how public-private partnerships can better assist in fighting cybercrime.
WEEK FOUR – CYBER SECURITY AND SMALL BUSINESSES
On October 24th, NCSA, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will host an event with the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, DC to focus on the importance of cyber security for U.S. businesses.
While NCSA will hold several flagship events, its partners and supporting organizations will host many of their own. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is only successful if organizations throughout the nation promote safe practices on their own. Listed below are just a few of the NCSA partner-sponsored events and offerings planned for October, such as the following:
- EMC Corporation employees are volunteering their time to teach thousands of children in the U.S. and 16 other nations in the K-12 age group about safe and responsible internet use with the C-SAVE online safety awareness program. EMC is also partnering with Radio Disney to promote cyber security awareness and digital responsibility based on C-SAVE in October and November.
- McAfee will feature new content on the McAfee® Cybersafety Resource Portal, an online help center designed to assist victims of computer crime and provide information on how to avoid becoming a victim.
- Members of the Executive Women's Forum (http://www.ewf-usa.com/) are volunteering their time to teach online safety and security to students. They will be presenting materials from the C-SAVE program to over 700 children at the Copper Ridge elementary school in Scottsdale, AZ as a part of the EWF Cyber Security School Challenge initiative. The EWF Cyber Security School Challenge winner will be announced during the EWF National Conference on October 20th.
- Verizon will incorporate NCSA security messaging into its ongoing "Security Leadership" campaign, which in October will provide consumers and businesses with a steady stream of tips and guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime. The campaign will feature special reports, consumer advisories and expert commentary, all featured on Verizon's various social media channels during the month. To reinforce the security messaging, Verizon also will undertake a global employee communications effort focused on highlighting Cyber Security Awareness.
- Lockheed Martin will Host its 2nd Annual Cyber Security Awareness Day with the Tech Council of Maryland on October 18. This STEM event will teach students about staying safe online while also providing a forum for career exploration and education. Government agencies and Maryland universities and colleges will be collaborating on October 18.
- The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference a collaborative effort between industry, academia, government and nonprofits will be holding the first ever Maryland cyber competition for high school, collegiate and professional teams. Over 300 challengers across the state are participating this year. The competition will conclude at a two-day conference in Baltimore on October 21-22 where contestants and Maryland's best minds on cybersecurity will convene to salute winners and discuss the issues and trends in cybersecurity. For more information: www.mdc3.org.
- San Diego's Securing Our eCity®(SOeC) initiative will hold activities and projects the local YMCA, YWCA, Girl Scouts, San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego Unified Schools with messages and training on how to stay safer in cyber space. Representatives from the SOeC speakers' bureau will present at events like the SmartGrid Summit, California Court Reporters' Association and other events around town. A K-12 cybersecurity poster contest is underway with winners to be announced at the Securing Our eCity Cybersecurity Symposium & Awards event on October 25th (securingourecity.org/2011oct-reg).
A full calendar of National Cyber Security Awareness Month events can be found at www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam.
NCSA encourages all audiences – teachers, employers, families, consumers, and more – to routinely visit the National Cyber Security Awareness Month Web portal for an abundance of information about how to get involved, events, and additional resources to help organizations and individuals participate in the public awareness and education campaign. The Web portal is available at: www.staysafeonline.org.
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Google, Intel, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its eighth year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC).
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
The campaign was developed by the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, a public-private partnership established in 2009 and led by The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to develop and support a national cybersecurity awareness campaign. In October 2010 the White House, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Messaging Convention launched the campaign. The Department of Homeland Security provides the Federal Government's leadership for the campaign. Industry, government, non-profits and education institutions participate in STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Learn how to get involved at www.stopthinkconnect.org.
SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance