Pennsylvanians encouraged to take the 'Cyber Pledge'
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to encourage Pennsylvanians to take steps to protect their computers, smartphones and mobile devices from online threats, Governor Corbett has proclaimed October as "Cyber Security Awareness Month."
"As more and more people are using social media, mobile applications and wireless devices to manage their day-to-day lives, it critically important for Pennsylvanians to understand how they can protect themselves and their personal information while using the Internet," said Corbett.
Last year, Pennsylvania was recognized as one of the top four most digitally advanced state governments by the Center for Digital Government. Pennsylvania is also a recognized leader in cyber security issues.
Highlights of Pennsylvania's information security program include:
- Policies and procedures for developing secure online applications;
- Advanced computer forensics, monitoring and automated incident response capabilities;
- Security policies for data encryption, privacy roles and acceptable use;
- Cyber security drills; and
- Information security awareness training for employees.
"The commonwealth has a robust, multi-layered defense to safeguard sensitive data and fend off online attacks," said George White, the state's chief information officer. "However, you cannot overlook the human side of information security. That is why we train employees to recognize and avoid potential threats such as spam and phishing that could compromise our systems."
This year, Pennsylvanians can demonstrate their commitment to online security by taking the "Cyber Pledge" at http://msisac.cisecurity.org/cyber-pledge/. By doing simple things like using strong passwords (a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters), deleting suspicious emails and keeping portable computing devices in sight at all times while in public can go a long way toward staying safe online.
State agencies offer a wealth of information and resources for individuals who want to learn more about staying safe online:
- You can learn about common online threats and how to avoid them at the PA Office for Information Security website, www.cybersecurity.state.pa.us. There is also a section for kids.
- The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General works to keep children safe online through its Child Predator Unit and the Operation Safe Surf program at www.attorneygeneral.gov.
- The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency's Identity Theft Action Plan website provides tips on how to avoid identity theft and what to do if you are a victim at www.identitytheftactionplan.com.
- The PA Treasury Department also offers advice on how you can protect your personal information online and the real world at www.patreasury.org.
Media contact: Dan Egan, Office of Administration; 717-772-4237
Editor's Note: The text of the governor's proclamation follows.
Cyber Security Awareness Month – October 2011
WHEREAS, we recognize the vital role that technology has in our daily lives and in the future of our nation; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's citizens, schools, libraries, businesses and other organizations use the Internet for a variety of tasks, including keeping in contact with family and friends, managing personal finances, performing research, enhancing education and conducting business; and
WHEREAS, critical sectors are increasingly reliant on information systems to support financial services, energy, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, health care, and emergency response systems; and
WHEREAS, the use of the Internet at the primary and secondary school levels in this State enhances the education of youth by providing them access to online educational and research materials; and at institutions of higher education, the use of information technology is integral to teaching and learning, research, and outreach and service; and
WHEREAS, Internet users and our information infrastructure face an increasing threat of malicious cyber attack, loss of privacy from spyware and adware and significant financial and personal privacy losses due to identity theft and fraud; and
WHEREAS, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center provides a collaborative mechanism to help state and local governments - including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - enhance cyber security; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Administration, Office for Information Technology is responsible the policies, procedures and tools used to protect critical commonwealth data and the personal information of citizens; and
WHEREAS, maintaining the security of cyberspace is a shared responsibility in which each of us has a critical role, and awareness of computer security essentials will improve the security of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's information infrastructure and economy; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov/cyber), the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (www.msisac.org), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, (www.nascio.org), and the National Cyber Security Alliance (www.staysafeonline.org) have declared October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month; and all citizens are encouraged to visit these sites, along with the commonwealth's Cyber Security website at www.cybersecurity.state.pa.us and Stop.Think.Connect (www.stopthinkconnect.org) to learn about cyber security and put that knowledge into practice in their homes, schools, workplaces, and businesses.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2011 as CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, and the City of Harrisburg, on this thirtieth day of September in the Year of our Lord two thousand and eleven, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
TOM CORBETT, Governor
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor