The History of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The History of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This post originally appeared on National Today, October, 2021.


As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the month of October promotes the importance of staying safe and secure online. It’s hard to imagine life without our devices, immediate access to global information, thousands of pictures retrievable at a moment’s notice, and effective management of confidential data for our professional- and personal electronic lives. Cybersecurity didn’t exist 50 years ago but, today, our world requires an ever-increasing amount of cyber protection. Stay informed of the latest cybersecurity trends with our recommendations and resources below.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month began in 2004 through a partnership between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). Cyber protection has grown to a worldwide imperative and, throughout this month, businesses, governments, and individuals come together in their passion for online protection.

Beginning in 2009, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was given a theme – ‘Our Shared Responsibility’ — and then, in 2011, a weekly theme was chosen. The weekly themes were prompted, in part, due to the amount of information there is to cover on the topic of Cybersecurity. New trends emerge every year. For example, the last few years have given rise to ransomware, online data breaches, phishing, and cryptojacking.

According to Online Trust Alliance, internet use has grown from less than 14 million people in 1992 to over 4 billion in 2019! Over 5 billion sensitive records were compromised through online breaches in 2018 and 2019.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s job and vitally important throughout the year, not only in October. There is no downtime in keeping our online activities safe and secure. But this month creates far-reaching awareness of the importance of cybersecurity so set aside some time to ensure you are personally protected and work with your employer’s I.T. department to protect your company’s information and networks.

NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH - TIMELINE

WAYS TO OBSERVE NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH

  1. Change your passwords
    • Today is a good day to change your passwords. We all dread this task since we have so many passwords but they need to be changed periodically and it’s totally worth your time. Use a password manager app to make remembering and keeping passwords organized easier.
  2. Become a Cybersecurity Champion
    • Through the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA), you can become a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion! Either as part of your organization or just you individually, you can champion the message of the month to everyone you know. Sign up at www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/champions/ to receive a toolkit to get started in spreading the important message of online safety and security.
  3. Run antivirus scans
    • Another great activity for today is to run antivirus scans on all your devices, including your phone. Yes, something we don’t typically make time to do, but it’s a security necessity and today’s the reminder you need to get it done!


About InfoSystems

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