October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Did you know October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)?  Have you signed up to be a Cybersecurity Champion?  Well, it is not too late… go do it now!  If you don’t know what I am talking about, listen to the Help Me With HIPAA podcast Free Security Awareness Training Event – Ep 273.  Then go to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) website and become a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion for your organization, community, family, local schools or just for yourself.  You will receive a toolkit of materials to help you implement your own cyber awareness initiatives and activities to promote a safer, more secure and more trusted internet.  Did I mention it is FREE!?

Since the first full week in October isn’t until next week, the NCSA is officially kicking off the NCSAM on Oct 1st & 2nd.  They provide you with some great tips, videos and clever snippets that are memorable and that you can use throughout the month as free security awareness training. NCSAM gives your facts and figures like:

  • The number of cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections is expected to reach 3.5 billion in 2023 – increasing with an annual growth rate of 30%. (Ericsson)
  • Once plugged into the internet, connected devices are attacked within 5 minutes and targeted by specific exploits in 24 hours. (NETSCOUT)

And Story Ideas:

  • IoT Security: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
  • Smart Devices Need Smart Security

They also give you great Tips & Advice resources for information you can include in your employee handbook or sharing with staff at a lunch and learn.

The NCSAM theme this year is Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.  The goal is to encourage everyone to own their role in protecting devices connected to networks and the Internet.  The NCSA has developed a plan to focus on a different cybersecurity topic each week in October.  Here is a list of the weekly topics:

  • Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
  • Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
  • Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
  • Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices

If NCSAM snuck up on you this year and you don’t have time to start it during October, that’s ok. Go sign up to be a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion anyway, get the free toolkit and use it when you have time to plan it.  Oh, and don’t forget to document what you did.  This is a great resource for training, but if you do it and don’t document it, it didn’t happen. Document, document, document!