In an ironic twist, Oct. 1 not only marks the first day of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month but also a time when federal IT systems may be more vulnerable because of the government shutdown.
This month celebrates the 10th anniversary of National Cybersecurity Month, an initiative administered by the Department of Homeland Security. The goal, as set forth by a 2004 presidential directive, is to educate and engage the public and private sectors to protect the country from cyber-incidents and efficiently respond to them if they occur.
Cybersecurity, according to the FBI, is a job for everyone.
“Every American who uses digital technologies at home or in the office needs to play a part in cybersecurity,” the bureau said in a blog post. “If you open a virus-laden email attachment at work, for example, you could infect your entire company’s computer network.”
The FBI laid out a few cybersecurity guidelines to take:
- Use strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone.
- Protect your computer, operating system, browser and other critical software by installing regular updates.
- Talk to family, friends and community about online safety.
- Limit what personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online.
This month will see a variety of events and programs raising awareness of cybersecurity. Each week will have a different theme; cyber as a shared responsibility; mobile security; cyber-workforce; cyber-crime; and security of critical infrastructure.