Seeing as October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we wanted to share these resources posted by the FBI and StaySafeOnline.org.
Connected devices are essential to our professional and personal lives, and criminals have gravitated to these platforms as well. Many common crimes—like theft, fraud, harassment, and abuse—are now carried out online, using new technologies and tactics. Others, like cyber intrusions and attacks on critical infrastructure, have emerged as our dependence on connected systems revealed new vulnerabilities.
Successfully mitigating these threats relies on a combination of information sharing, prevention efforts, and enforcement work. Government agencies, law enforcement, the private sector, and individuals all have a role to play.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to provide a reminder that each of us has the power to make the Internet safer and more secure.
“While the speed at which technology and information move can expose us to new risks online, it also enables a level of sharing and cooperation that can make us more resilient to cyber threats,” says FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Matt Gorham. “National Cybersecurity Awareness Month isn’t just about understanding the risks, but also emphasizing our collective power to combat them.”
The FBI coordinates closely with the private sector as well as with state, local, and international partners to understand and anticipate cyber threats and pursue cyber criminals with every available resource.
“Realistically, we know we can’t prevent every attack, or punish every hacker,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Boston Conference on Cyber Security earlier this year. “But we can build on our capabilities. We can strengthen our partnerships and our defenses. We can get better at exchanging information to identify the telltale signs that may help us link cyber criminals to their crimes. And we can impose a variety of costs on criminals who think they can hide in the shadows of cyber space. We can do these things—and we are.”
During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, make it a point to learn more about what you can do to understand current cyber threats and support efforts to combat them.
These FBI resources align with the weekly themes of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Week 1: October 1–5
Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety. “Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices ‒ like looking both ways before crossing the street and holding an adult’s hand in a crowded place. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry. With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure. Week 1 will underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.” 1
Week 2: October 8–12
Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity. “A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. Raising the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals is a starting point to building stronger defenses. There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages – from high school into higher education and beyond – on the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options. In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce, should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available. Week 2 will address ways to motivate parents, teachers and counselors to learn more about the field and how to best inspire students and others to seek highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.”2
Week 3: October 15–19
It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work. “When you are on the job – whether it’s at a corporate office, local restaurant, healthcare provider, academic institution or government agency ‒ your organization’s online safety and security are a responsibility we all share. And, as the lines between our work and daily lives become increasingly blurred, it is more important than ever to be certain that smart cybersecurity carries over between the two. Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience. NCSA’s CyberSecure My Business™ will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.”3
Week 4: October 22–26
Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure. “Our day-to-day life depends on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications and power along with other networks and systems. A disruption to this system, which is operated via the internet, can have significant and even catastrophic consequences for our nation. Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. In addition, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”4
References: Fbi.gov and The National Cyber Security Alliance