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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Marking the 11th Annual #NCSAM

NCSAM banner 96x70October 1st marks the beginning of the 11th annual Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Throughout the month the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies will be hosting various events throughout the country to discuss new cybersecurity issues, our cybersecurity infrastructure and our ability to prevent and mitigate national cyber threats.

NCSAM is not just about cybersecurity practices for the government but also to educate adults and children about online safety. It is our shared responsibility to ensure we are safe online whether at home, at work or at school. I encourage everyone to check out The National Cyber Security Alliance’s valuable resources available at www.staysafeonline.org. Read More »

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Highlights from AFCEA Homeland Security Conference: Remaining Ever-Vigilant

AFCEA Homeland SecurityLast week I had the opportunity to attend the AFCEA Homeland Security conference in Washington, D.C.

Eleven days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security was appointed leading to the combination of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated cabinet agency when it was established in 2002.

The Department has a vital mission to secure the U.S. from many threats with capabilities that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity to chemical facility inspections.

The three day conference focused on a number of important topics including:

  • Mobility and Interoperability
  • Information Sharing and Fusion Centers
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Role of Laboratories and Scientific Research in Homeland Security
  • Cybersecurity Education and Continuous Diagnostics and Monitoring

Read More »

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Cyberspace! The New Frontier!

We are currently in Cybersecurity month here in the United States, which is to say that our country is trying to raise our awareness in regard to our virtual protection.

So, Cyber Security? What is security for cyberspace…? It’s difficult at times to think of an imaginary border that protects networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Unauthorized access… so hacking? Yes, but more devious with results that could even lead to injury or death of our population.

Imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, one of our major cyber systems were “hacked”… What does that mean for us? Think. Just about our whole existence revolves around cyberspace. That’s right, systems operate virtually to be able to manage simple things like pay roll all the way to complex things like flight plans, take-off and landing. Cyberspace is where your Facebook lives, Twitter, personal email accounts, and all of your personal finance information. Has your account ever been hacked by a friend posting a funny blurb on your account? Or has your identity been stolen by a hacker? With technology becoming an extension of ourselves, it’s just important to protect ourselves. Let’s not create an episode of J.J. Abrams “Revolution” if we can avoid it…

What can we do about it? That’s the point of this month is for “us”… yes, us plain ole citizens, to be more proactive in protecting ourselves, our communities, and ultimately our country.

This is what the Department of Homeland Security says about how we can start protecting ourselves:

“Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their personal assets, and private information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can do to practice cyber security during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and throughout the year:

  •  Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Here is a glance at Cisco’s part in cybersecurity.

Check out this blog by Chris Coleman titled “The Virtual Maginot Line” and also be looking for blogs by other members of Cisco that are revolving around Cybersecurity month.

This is very simple. We have roughly 2 weeks left in this month. Let’s all do our part.

Regards,

Mark Rogers

To learn more about the strategies mentioned in the video, visit OnGuardOnline.gov and DHS.gov/Cybersecurity.

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