Home CTO/CIO October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

by Andrew Roush

We live much of our lives online, and security in the virtual world can be just as important as physical security. This is especially true in education, and that’s why, in October, educators, administrators, and students are observing Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

Defining Cybersecurity

The history of keeping digital devices, records, networks, and more safe has seen many changes, twists, and turns in its relatively short span. Known variously as IT security or simply computer security, cybersecurity includes “the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information,” according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency

Common cybersecurity practices might include multi-factor authentication, keeping software up to date, managing firewalls, using strong passwords, and being aware of common email scams. The goal is to keep computer hardware and software safe for users, and to help protect privacy online. 

Getting Web Wise

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is marked each October in the United States. The practice began in 2004 when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance launched the event “as a broad effort to help Americans stay safe and secure online.” This includes awareness of common online scams and tips for keeping your digital presence secure. 

The theme of this year’s event is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The organizers hope to use the event to highlight a number of easy practices to keep information safe.

Here’s how the National Cybersecurity Alliance frames it:

The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are impacted by the internet.

National Cybersecurity Alliance, https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/

Getting Involved

The National Cybersecurity Alliance encourages people to stay connected by following them on  Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You can even download images and messages about cybersecurity to share on your own social networks. Check out more suggestions, ideas, and resources here.

Further, a number of events are planned throughout the month. Here’s what’s on tap for the rest of October. 

  • 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

The organizers this year are sharing “Tip Sheets” for cybersecurity at work, while traveling, with connected devices and digital assistants (IoT), as well as more specialized topics, like “e-skimming,” phishing attacks, and connected home security. Institutions can also get involved as “champions” for cybersecurity awareness.

Smart Solutions for IT Professionals

Those looking to improve their personal, school, or district information security may be interested in TCEA’s System Administrator and Technical Support Conference, online October 20–21. This annual event is designed for CTOs, network managers, and tech support pros — and this year we’re bringing you up-to-the-minute solutions, all online and available on-demand following the live, virtual event.

Click the link here to see the list of topics, the schedule, and to register. 

More on Cybersecurity from TCEA

Image by methodshop from Pixabay

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