National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 Is Here!

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Today marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), celebrated every October since 2004. NCSAM began as a collaborative effort between government and industry to provide people with the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Since its inception, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance have led NCSAM, and these efforts have grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions, and young people across the United States and internationally. NCSA, APWG, and DHS also co-lead STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the global cyber security education and awareness campaign.

NCSAM 2014 will focus on our shared responsibility to secure the Internet. From our desks and homes to on-the-go, we work, learn, and play online; even when we’re not directly connected, the vast, critical infrastructure supporting our everyday lives impacts us all. If everyone does their part to secure the Internet by implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, and training employees and/or young people, we will become a safer digital society that is more resistant to and resilient in responding to attacks.

EDUCAUSE has been a partner of NCSA since our founding and a long-time leading partner in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. EDUCAUSE’s efforts engaging campuses around the country on security and privacy education reach a critical population—young adults—with information that can make their online lives more secure, so they can benefit from what the Internet has to offer.

Each week in October, we will focus on a different cyber security issue or theme. We encourage people and organizations to participate in the weeks that are most relevant to them and spread cyber security awareness throughout the month.

2014 Weekly Themes

Week 1 (Oct. 1–3): STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

Week 1 aims to raise online safety awareness among all Americans and reinforce STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and the simple measures everyone should take to be safer and more secure online.

Week 2 (Oct. 2–6): Secure Development of IT Products

Building security into information technology products is key to enhanced online safety. Security is an essential element of software design, development, testing, and maintenance.

Week 3 (Oct. 13–17): Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things
The systems that support electricity, financial services, transportation, and communications are increasingly interconnected. The Internet of Things—the ability of objects and devices to transfer data—is changing how we use technology. Week 3 highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and properly securing all devices that are connected to the Internet.

Week 4 (Oct. 20–24): Cyber Security for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Small and medium-sized businesses are an important part of our nation’s economy, but they often do not see themselves as targets for cybercrime. Strong cyber security practices are vital for both new and established businesses. This week will focus on what businesses and entrepreneurs can do to protect their organizations, customers, and employees, and cyber security as a business opportunity.

Week 5 (Oct. 27–31): Cybercrime and Law Enforcement

This week will help draw awareness to cybercrime and educate law enforcement officers about how to assist their communities in combating cybercrime and educate the general public with ways to protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft, fraud, phishing, and other crimes.

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. will host a Twitter chat each Thursday in October at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. Each chat will focus on one of the weekly themes, and we invite you to join the conversation by using the hashtags #NCSAM and #ChatSTC.

We also encourage everyone to promote NCSAM on social networks throughout the month. You can find daily social media messages, profile icons, background images, and more to share at Help us get the word out by using the hashtag #NCSAM on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all month long.

We hope you become an active participant in National Cyber Security Awareness Month and help us become a stronger digital society that is safer and more secure online.