Are You Participating In National Cyber Security Awareness Month?

October is designated National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an effort that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, as well as others partners, to highlight the importance of smart cybersecurity. Massive breaches like the Equifax data breach and ransomware attacks such as WannaCry have dominated the 2017 news headlines. Businesses and individuals alike are increasingly interested in how to stay safe online.

Each week a theme is featured during National Cyber Security Awareness Month highlighting security issues and guide others to make sound cybersecurity choices. The themes are designed to stimulate discussion and learning. Around the country, several groups are offering face-to-face seminars and workshops to help others gain awareness on cybersecurity. If you don’t live near a meeting place, take advantage of the many online events being offered.

NCSAM 2017 Online Events

Below are the 2017 themes listed by week with some of the most interesting virtual events offered.1

Week 1: October 2-6

Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety

Everyone can take some simple steps to protect themselves online. Week 1 addressed the top consumer cybersecurity concerns, provided guidance to address these concerns, and help the public understand what to do if they fall victim to an attack.

Events: For those of you who missed the seminars, there’s great information on this topic online! The links below are just a few of the many resources about online safety:

Week 2: October 9-13

Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business

Creating a culture of cybersecurity is critical for organizations ‒ large and small, academic institutions, nonprofits, and government agencies – and must be a shared responsibility among all of your employees. Week 2 showcased how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats. The week also looked at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.

Events: If you missed the seminars, look at these links below on the many online resources about cybersecurity in the workplace:

Week 3: October 16-20

Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.

Upcoming Virtual/Online Events:

  • IoT and Real-World Cyber Risks (Click to RSVP)
  • Oct. 17, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT/10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT
  • This session explores the real-world challenges associated with IoT and recommends a proven approach toward effective security.
  • The Future of Cyber Security Education (Click to RSVP)
  • Oct. 18, 2017, 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT/1:00-2:00 p.m. PDT
  • This webinar will provide an introduction to building a hands-on cybersecurity school and tips for training, education, and certifications.

Week 4: October 23-27

Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

According to a study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers by 2022. Today’s students must graduate ready to enter the workforce to fill the vast number of available cybersecurity positions. Week 4 will encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers. Key influencers – like parents, teachers, guidance counselors and state and local officials – will learn more about this growing field and how to engage youth in pursuing cybersecurity careers.

Upcoming Virtual/Online Events:

  • Cybercrimes and Digital Fraud for Financial Professionals (Click to RSVP)
  • Oct. 23, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT/10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT
  • This webinar will provide an introduction to cyber fraud tactics and attacks, how dark web markets and forums fuel cybercrime and how cybercriminals use digital currencies.
  • EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar: Shifting to Security Awareness 2.0 (Click to RSVP)
  • Oct. 23, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT/10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT
  • This presentation will discuss in-depth the risks related to delivering poor awareness programs versus adapting to changing needs and demands of attacks on the surface like networks, firewalls, and ports and learning behaviors of humans.
  • Strategies for Mature Security Operations (Click to RSVP)
  • Oct. 25, 2017, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT/9:00-10:00 a.m. PDT
  • In this webinar, industry security experts share their strategies for building mature security operations in an environment where threats and vulnerabilities are growing daily.

Degree Opportunities

Week 5: October 30-31 (and later)

Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats

The essential systems that support our daily lives – such as electricity, financial institutions, and transportation – are all dependent upon the Internet. Building resilience in critical infrastructure is crucial to our national security.  Week 5 will look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure. It also facilitates the transition to November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (CISR), highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Upcoming Virtual/Online Events:

  • #ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Threats (Twitter Chat)
  • Nov. 1, 2017, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT
  • As NCSAM comes to a close, we’ll discuss the connection between the cyber and physical worlds, the importance of protecting and securing our critical infrastructure – our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, power grids and more – and share simple cyber tips for individuals looking to do their part to protect our critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

What are some other ways you can stay abreast of the current cybersecurity landscape and get involved in NCSAM?

  • Use the #CyberAware hashtag in your social media posts.
  • Take action in support of NCSAM and receive the latest information about the month and online safety materials for you and/or your organization. It’s easy and free to sign up at
  • Join the #ChatSTC TWITTER CHATS discussion every Thursday in October at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT. Each chat will highlight that week’s theme.
  • Sign up for NCSA’s newsletter to receive regular online safety news and resources.
  • Host an employee training on cybersecurity. Check out ESET’s free cybersecurity awareness training as a great resource.
  • Download this clever NCSAM poster.
  • Mark your calendar for October 2018; NCSAM is in the month of October every year!

Got other ideas? We’d love to hear them! Tag #TotalHIPAA and #CyberAware in your social media posts!


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