Held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.
NCSAM 2019 will emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. This year’s overarching message – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and ecommerce security.
NCSAM 2018 takes a two-part, synced approach to facilitating discussion and emphasis on cybersecurity as our shared responsibility. DHS will promote and emphasize four key messages, tied together by one overarching theme. DHS's key messages are month-long goals designed to drive cybersecurity discussions, events, resources, and activities from DHS.
- Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve our Nation's cybersecurity
- Strengthen the Nation's cybersecurity ecosystem
- Cybersecurity is a cross-cutting, cross-sector challenge, so we must tackle it together
- Increase and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce across all sectors
- Secure critical infrastructure from cyber threats
The NCSAM 2018 Toolkit is a comprehensive guide with a wealth of resources to make it easy for you and your organization, regardless of size or industry, to engage and promote NCSAM. Use the table of contents to easily find tips, use social media posts, participate in twitter chats, etc. We also have resources to help you engage many different types of audiences.
Themes for 2017 have been announced!
Week 1: October 2-6 – Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety.
All members of the public can take some simple actions to protect themselves online and to recover in the event a cyber incident occurs. Week 1 will address the top consumer cybersecurity concerns, provide simple steps to protect against these concerns, and help the public understand what to do if they fall victim to cybercrime.
Week 2: October 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business
Creating a culture of cybersecurity is critical for all organizations ‒ large and small businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and government agencies – and must be a shared responsibility among all employees. Week 2 will showcase how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats. The week will also look at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework.
Week 3: October 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet
Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.
Week 4: October 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
According to a study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, by 2022, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers. It is critical that today’s students graduate ready to enter the workforce to fill the vast number of available cybersecurity positions. Week 4 will encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers. Key influencers – like parents, teachers, guidance counselors and state and local officials – will learn more about this growing field and how to engage youth in pursuing cybersecurity careers.
Week 5: October 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats
The essential systems that support our daily lives – such as electricity, financial institutions, and transportation – are all dependent upon the Internet. Building resilience in critical infrastructure is crucial to our national security. Week 5 will look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure. It also facilitates the transition to November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (CISR), highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Plans for National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2017 are already underway. Check this website in the coming months for more details and specific ways to get involved. Check out the NCSAM Resources page to see content from previous Awareness Months, including one pagers, blog posts, presidential proclamations, and more.
Week 1: October 3-7 – Theme: Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect.™
Each day, people take steps to protect themselves. They lock their doors, look both ways before crossing the street, and brush their teeth. These activities protect people’s physical security and health, and it’s just as important for people to take steps every day to protect themselves when they are online. Everyone can take simple steps to be safer when online. When all Americans own their digital life and take steps to protect themselves online, the Internet becomes safer and more secure for all.
Week 2: October 10-14 – Theme: Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room
We all play a part in protecting personal and organizational data in the workplace. From the CEO to an entry-level employee and everyone in between, each organization’s cybersecurity depends on everyone doing their part to keep systems secure. As a Nation, we do more business online than ever before and are constantly innovating in the digital space. This leadership in the digital space brings many advantages, but also increased cyber risks and threats. According to studies from the National Cyber Security Alliance, a record 79 percent of U.S. businesses reported a cybersecurity incident in 2015 and one in five American homes received a data breach notification.
Week 3: October 17-14 – Theme: Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
As technology advances, the impact of cybercrime is becoming more costly and frequent. Crimes that previously occurred face to face, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and harassment, are now conducted or facilitated through the Internet. As cybercriminals’ efforts to target victims become more sophisticated, we must prioritize growing our capabilities to successfully combat them. Each American must take measures to prevent cybercrime by taking steps to protect themselves online as well as their online devices and networks.
Week 4: October 24-28 – Theme: Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App’-titude?
Connected devices are growing at a fast rate – cars, household appliances, finances, healthcare, and more are increasingly managed by smart devices. The rapidly increasing number of connected devices Americans use on a daily basis has changed what it means to keep our digital lives and homes cyber secure. The amount of personal information we share online has increased exponentially with the rise of innovative technology. Most Americans now regularly share sensitive information online including their banking and financial information, health and fitness data, and their actual physical location – oftentimes without even realizing it.
Week 5: October 31 – Theme: Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure
Our Nation’s critical infrastructure, the essential services that underlie daily life in American society, are increasingly run on digital networks. We recognize critical infrastructure as the roads we drive on, the electrical grids that power our homes and businesses, the water we drink, and the communication systems that allow us to connect to family and friends around the world. Sophisticated cyber criminals and nation-states pose a great risk to America’s critical infrastructure by exploiting vulnerabilities in cyberspace. Protecting and securing our Nation’s critical infrastructure from emerging cyber threats requires coordination between the government, private sector partners, and most importantly, individual Americans. Just as we all rely on critical infrastructure, we all have a role to play in keeping it safe and secure.
We ask that everyone participate in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Below are simple ways to get started now. Continue to check back regularly for more information and details.
- Sign up to receive the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ monthly Friends Newsletter.
- Become an official partner of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Campaign.
- Spread the word about cybersecurity by sharing resources from the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™
The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit provides resources to help you stay safe online and host your own cyber event. Materials include ready-made cyber presentations, tip cards, and more.