This October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is commemorating its 15th year as an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM 2018 is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats. DHS is the federal, national lead for NCSAM. DHS also co-leads NCSAM with the National Cyber Security Alliance.
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
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.
NCSAM 2016 in Review
We ask that everyone participate in National Cyber Security 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.
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.