Fifteen years ago, in recognition of the massive “stranger danger” present online, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NSCA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) observed the first National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Initially, the effort focused on simple cybersecurity hygiene habits for individual users, such as updating your antivirus software on a regular schedule. (Officials hoped to mirror other successful public awareness campaigns, such as campaigns to change batteries in smoke detectors.) But just as the threats present online have expanded in scope, so, too, have National Cybersecurity Awareness Month themes and activities. This year’s four themes are:
- Make your home a haven for online safety. This theme encourages parents to teach their children good cybersecurity practices from early childhood on—and all of us to be aware of the security risks associated with the Internet of Things.
- Millions of rewarding jobs: educating for a career in cybersecurity. If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know cybersecurity is a rewarding career path. This focuses on sharing that message with parents, teachers, and school counselors.
- It’s everyone’s job to ensure online safety at work. This is another topic near and dear to the MSP’s heart. This highlights specific ways small- and medium-sized business can protect themselves from cyber threats.
- Safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure. Cyber criminals aren’t just looking to steal our credit card numbers and spoof our Facebook accounts — they also want to disrupt the very systems that keep society running, whether those are public utility systems, financial institutions, or public health systems. This pairs nicely with November’s DHS public awareness effort: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month.
The 15th anniversary of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month also coincides nicely with another 15th anniversary occurring in November—the anniversary of the founding of Barracuda Networks!
Photo: vs148 / Shutterstock.