This October marks the ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), this month is a time to raise awareness about protecting yourself and your information online. As the presidential election heats up, hot topics such as cyber security play a major role when discussing our privacy and safety. Between the rise in mobile connectivity and social media sharing platforms, more people are online than ever before doing everything from banking, shopping, communicating and managing their entire lives digitally, and there is a need for stronger policies and protection against cyber crime.
In a previous blog post, I mentioned an update from President Obama’s new cyber security adviser Michael Daniel noting that joint efforts were needed across the board to help instill a safer online environment. Those efforts will need to come not only from government officials, but from public and private sectors, like Gemalto, as well. We are actively involved in protecting citizen’s digital information and have worked to develop solutions that will help secure data through strong authentication solutions. Our Protiva portfolio works across multiple industries – police and military, financial traders, healthcare and enterprise – to ensure that company assets are protected through the network and online, so that companies can focus on what is most important, their customers.
This year Gemalto has also partnered with StaySafeOnline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, to become an official champion for the cause.
Throughout October, and beyond, it is critical to help raise awareness about cyber security and to help educate users everywhere on safe Internet practices. The theme this month, “Our Shared Responsibility”, is an easy one to remember – everyone plays a role when using the Internet. Throughout the month different themes will be promoted to help reach a larger audience:
- Stop. Think. Connect: Emphasizes general cybersecurity awareness and easy practices to follow
- Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity: Focuses on national and local efforts to prevent identity theft and other cyber crimes
- Industry Efforts in Cybersecurity: Highlights strategies and tools businesses of all sizes – including small businesses – can use to bolster their own cybersecurity defenses
- Digital Literacy Efforts: Showcases the urgent need to develop cyber education programs to train the next generation of the cyber workforce
While you may not have been affected personally by a cyber crime, the numbers are increasing. According to Norton’s annual Cybercrime report, US consumers lost $20.7 billion from crimes including attacks, malware and phishing, with an estimated 71 million people as victims. Social networking sites and mobile ads are the two rising channels of cyber crime, so get the facts, be aware, and share your knowledge. Do your part this month and help crack down on cybersecurity-related attacks. It’s your responsibility too.
To become a cyber security champion, visit StaySafeOnline.org and also visit our consumer site JustAskGemalto.com for tips and tools to stay safe online and protect your own digital security. And then spread the word – everyone needs to sit up and take note!