Why We Need a Cyber Awareness Month

Sue Marquette Poremba

Did you hear that October is Cyber Awareness Month? It's OK if you didn't know. October is a popular "awareness" month with breast cancer leading the way, but also includes domestic violence, national arts and humanities and fair trade awareness. National Cyber Awareness Month is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).

 

According to the DHS's website:

Slide Show

Top 10 Cyber Security Threats of 2011 and Beyond

The next decade portends new threats that surpass those of years past in both intensity and impact.

The overarching theme for National Cyber Security Awareness Month is "Our Shared Responsibility," which reflects the interconnectedness of the modern world and the message that all computer users have a role in securing cyberspace.

 

Through a series of events and initiatives across the country, Awareness Month engages public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cybersecurity, and increase the resiliency of the Nation and its cyber infrastructure.

The NCSA has quite a slate of events scheduled all over the country that focus on security in business, government, education and even in personal lives.

 

I'm sure there are people out there wondering if our government agencies need to be spending time and money on something like a Cyber Awareness Month. I say, absolutely. The events of the past 12 months -- the hacking groups, the financial-information-stealing malware, etc. -- show that we still have a long way to go when it comes to cyber security. Polls show that too many small businesses aren't doing enough to protect their data and intellectual property. Like football players wearing pink shoes and gloves make you think about Breast Cancer, having special events and specific conversations can get people thinking about the importance of cyber security. Get the discussion going in October and then extend it into November, December and into 2012. As the Ping Identity blog so wisely pointed out:

While October is officially CyberSecurity Awareness Month, it seems only prudent that corporations devise a strategy that keeps them vigilant each day of the year.


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