Every October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), celebrated yearly during the month of October, was created in 2004 by the U.S. government. The NCSAM campaign is also sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit organization, and the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) of Homeland Security.
The purpose behind cybersecurity month is to increase awareness for consumers, business, communities, local governments, and educators by emphasizing the importance of staying on alert for unusual email messages, suspicious banking or credit card transactions, malicious traffic, and unauthorized payment card information (PCI) or information technology (IT) system related activities. The overriding message is clear and to the point — no nation, business, industry, individual, or community is immune from the ongoing increasing cybersecurity threats that affect our lives [1].
The campaign also stresses the vital need for increased protection in business and healthcare organizations of all sizes. Recent healthcare breaches involve a violation of the national standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Similarly, recent breaches involving PCI thefts at retailers such as Target or Home Depot shows that even large businesses are vulnerable.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable due to small or nonexistent IT staff along with the limited budgets for IT security. In many cases, small business owners simply lack the knowledge about potential cybersecurity threats, an understanding of the latest advances in security practices, as well as the resources to hire skilled IT professionals with the expertise to implement and maintain IT security and compliance.
How Do People Gain Awareness?
Keeping on top of reliable cyber security threats, compliance issues and best practices gives companies and consultants a tremendous advantage.
An interesting source that we recommend for organizations of all sizes use to track the latest in ongoing industry news is the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) website. They are constantly releasing updates regarding vulnerabilities, threat vectors that have recently been exploited (such as Backoff and Shellshock) as well as how to guard your organization against them.
There are a wealth of publications to stay up-to-date in regards to current trends and issues such as SC MagazineCSO Online,Information Security MagazineGovernment Security News. These outlets are definitely worth bookmarking for updated IT security threats, seminars and further information about cyber security.
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Jacqueline von Ogden

Since 1999, Jacqueline has written for corporate communications, MarCom agencies, higher education, and worked within the pharmacy, steel and retail industries. Since joining the tech industry, she has found her "home".