National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October 1, 2009 | By Damon Armour, IT Security Officer
October is National Cyber Security Awareness month (NCSAM), and throughout the month Information Technology Services will join with other University System of Georgia institutions to focus attention to topics of information security. The campaign, a program under the USG Academic Affairs’ Office of Information Security, is called Building a culture of awareness and preparedness; it will present information on topics relevant to both work and home including what individuals can do to protect their identities, prevent phishing, and deal with malicious software.
Activities kicked off Sept. 30 with a proclamation from USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, Jr., and USG Chief Information Security Officer Stanton S. Gatewood, and will continue with public relations events, educational programs, and initiatives throughout October that targets home users, small businesses, education audiences, and child safety online. For a complete list of activities, visit http://www.aug.edu/its/ncsam.html/. Details of online Wimba/webcast informational sessions are available at: http://www.usg.edu/infosec/ncsa/ncsam_2009/.
Program History -In 2004, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), an information technology trade group, launched the inaugural National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The aim of the program was to raise the awareness of computer users in the United States; to better alert them to potential threats and improve their preparedness for cyber security incidents. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security adopted the program and the U.S. House of Representatives also adopted a resolution in support for the program. So far more than 40 states have either adopted some resolution in support of the program or currently observe the program. The Multi State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) a national collaborative organization for states information security emergency response help coordinate the NCSAM across the United States. Today all major software and Internet vendors have signed on to the program under the aegis of the NCSA, whose website is www.staysafeonline.info. Public and private sector enterprise now observe the program by organizing and supporting events as well as providing resources that help raise the national awareness.
NCSAM at the USG -In 2009, the University System of Georgia will observe its first, month-long event and will provide various awareness resources to the University System and Georgia Public Libraries. The theme, building a culture of awareness and preparedness, will be used throughout the month on the InfoSce website and Twitter to keep individuals informed year-round about cyber risks and threats and what can be done to mitigate them. Posters, calendars, fliers, and handouts will be available throughout the month in observance of the NCSAM. To stay abreast of information security, electronic privacy, and related issues throughout the year, visit http://www.usg.edu/infosec/. Additional Information on NCSAM for 2009 – http://www.usg.edu/infosec/ncsa/ncsam_2009/.