Getting Linked Up to Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month

By Peter Bernstein October 11, 2013

As Washington, D.C. deliberates about how and when to end the U.S. government shutdown and avoid default on the country’s debts, it may have not crossed your radar screen that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 

This is actually the tenth anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. It might have been a bigger deal, but in a true sign of the times, which has caused a lot of fretting about how U.S. critical resources are being protected, if you visit the Homeland Security home page you are greeted with the following: 

Due to the Lapse in Federal Funding, This Website Will Not be Actively Managed.

It does make one wonder, if the Homeland Security site is not being actively managed, who is minding the store on all of the government’s other websites? This certainly appears to be an invitation for mischief, despite repeated assurances from government officials that their guard is not down, they just are not providing fresh content. It is unlikely we will ever know how good such protection is, since disclosure would be a national security breach, and we all know that, as a result of Edward Snowden, such news about the strength or lack thereof regarding government ability to monitor, track and, in this instance, defend against bad actors is not something officials like aired in public.

That said, the reason to make note of this anniversary is to highlight the events and initiatives that are planned as a means to engage public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cybersecurity and to “increase the resiliency of the Nation and its cyber infrastructure.

In this regard, you should bookmark the following URL, http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month, the home page for information about what is going on in support of the anniversary, and, more importantly, all of the valuable links that are provided for everyone to become more aware and capable of instituting best practices to protect themselves and the country.

Below is the calendar of events.


Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

As I stated, this is a good place to bookmark and the place to start getting better educated. In fact, there are useful links to resources designed for people of all ages and organizations of every size and geography.

Knowledge is power, and this is a case where government does work when it is not at work. As the home page concludes: “For more information on what Internet users can do to practice cybersecurity during the month and throughout the year visit Stop.Think.Connect.” Three short words that also deserve a spot on your favorites list.  



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