As a digital society relying on the Internet for nearly everything from financial services to supply chain management to an increasingly smart electric grid, to name a few, America's ability to fortify the security of the Internet is critical to the nation's economic success, the government's ability to deliver critical services, and every American's access to information.
This month, in the spirit of this year's awareness theme Our Shared Responsibility, hundreds of federal, state and local government agencies, companies, non-profits and everyday citizens will deploy themselves to educate millions of Americans about the importance of online security to themselves, their towns, their states and their country.
According to a recent Forrester Research study, Americans on average spend 12 hours per week online and adults from the ages of 18 to 53 spend more than 16 hours per week online. Our reliance on a safe and secure online experience will only grow in upcoming years. Yet, with a recent NCSA/Symantec study finding that just 40% of Americans have had any formal type of online security or safety training, public education and awareness is our nation's frontline defense.
"This year, National Cyber Security Awareness Month will continue to focus on the simple message that all Americans share the responsibility for protecting the computers and networks they use." said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "Employing software tools and safe online behavior allows consumers, businesses and children to use the Internet with confidence and reap the benefits of participation in a digital society. As we raise consciousness about Internet security in October, we must remember cybersecurity requires vigilance 365 days a year."
The need for engaging and educating public was highlighted recently in President Obama's "Cyberspace Policy Review," which called for a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy and to build a digital workforce for the 21st century. National Cyber Security Awareness Month complements the President's public awareness priority by actively engaging public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to increase overall awareness about the steps everyone should take to minimize vulnerabilities.
"Public education and awareness is critical to helping Americans learn how to fully protect themselves online," said Tiffany Olson Jones, head of North and Latin American government affairs for Symantec. "Partnerships such as the NCSA that bring together the best and brightest within both the public and private sectors are necessary to ensure that the promised benefits of the Internet are realized."
The month of October will feature both organized and grass roots events as the NCSA focuses on reaching out to its four target audiences: Home computer users, small businesses, K-12 education and higher education.
NCSA activities in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month include:
A full calendar of NCSAM activities can be found at: www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam
About The National Cyber Security Alliance The National Cyber Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, nonprofit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves, the networks they use, and the cyber infrastructure. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its 6th year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC). SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance