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Welcome to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

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15th Annual Cybersecurity Month Kicks Off

Welcome to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, or NCSAM for short.  Now in its 15th year, the goal is to have each of us do our part in protecting our most critical assets--be it a nuclear power plant or a photo of Niko the pup on Instagram--how can we protect what's important to us? 

The National Cyber Security Alliance has put together themes--the first is home security.  What do you need to do both as a ‘home admin’ as well as communicating security hygiene to your family, with a goal of establishing and maintaining your home ‘CyberPosture.’  We’ve prepared an infographic that summarizes the top tips for strengthening your home's cybersecurity defensive posture along the way.   

Week 1:  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.

NCSAM Week 1, by the numbers:

  • The number of smart homes in North America is expected to hit 73 million by 2021, making up more than 50% of all households.
  • Both parents and teens are concerned about online security, according to a 2017 NCSA survey. Among their top fears: someone accessing a teen’s account without permission (teens 41% vs. parents 41%); someone sharing a teen’s personal information about them online (teens 39% vs. parents 42%); and having a teen’s photo or video shared that they wanted private (teens 36% vs. parents 34%).
  • Additionally, 34% of teens indicate that they are the most knowledgeable person about cybersecurity in the family – followed by 24% who think dad is, and 18% who think mom is.

Other NCSAM Happenings

We will be participating in a couple webinars this month, the first a CISO panel, “Best Practices for Cyber Hygiene” is this Thursday at 9 AM PT--Register Here.  Later this month on Oct 24, our Chief Security Office, Joe Kucic, will host a panel, “Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure Starts with NIST.”  He’ll be joined by guest CISOs--Register Here.

For an inside look at the home attack surface, including potential entry points for hackers that you may not have thought of, check out the article “The Too-Smart’ Home - Uninvited Guests” on the IoT Evolution web site.  So what are we doing about these threats?  California, just this week, took a major step forward as the first state in the nation (as usual) with an IoT cybersecurity law to take effect in January 2020.  It helps mandate some common sense baselines for home routers and other Internet-connected devices.

Don't forget to check out our NCSAM Champions page, where we post our favorite materials and events available by other NCSAM Champions. 

For all the latest regarding NCSAM follow and post on Twitter/Instagram using the hashtags #CyberAware and #CyberPosture

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