National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018: A Common Language for Cyber

national cybersecurity awareness month 2018

15 years of public-private partnership in an effort to raise cybersecurity awareness…

This month - October - is recognized as national cybersecurity awareness month, and this October commemorates the 15th year of its existence. Government and industry come together this month to “ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats”, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS serves as the lead for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) while also partnering with the National Cyber Security Alliance. 

NCSAM 2018 Theme - A Common Language for Cyber

Split into two main parts this month, NCSAM 2018 is focused on facilitating discussion around the shared responsibility of cybersecurity. Key messages are month-long goals “designed to drive cybersecurity discussions, events, resources, and activities" from DHS primarily. There could not be a more timely moment in history to bring up the idea of collaboration and shared responsibility between the public and private sectors, and between business and security units within our organizations. 

As cyber becomes less of a pure tech issue and more of a business one, Boards and other business leaders will seek to understand how their organizations are doing on cyber - how strong they are, and where the risks lie - in order to avoid headlines. Improving all of our organizations’ cyber posture improves the Nation’s cyber posture as a result. Ultimately, it all comes down to communication - and a common language for cybersecurity is needed to achieve the results we want.

Key Messages This Month:

  • Strengthen the Nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem

  • Cybersecurity is a cross-cutting, cross-sector challenge, so we must tackle it together

  • Increase and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce across all sectors

  • Secure critical infrastructure from cyber threats

Last October, a key theme from NACSM was protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Interestingly enough, this theme is the only one from last year to reappear on this list. As the DHS puts it, “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.” We all know critical infrastructure security is important, but how do we accomplish this? One way, especially at the scale of multinational utility companies and other large corporations, is to implement a common language for cyber. A means of communicating that everyone, even non-technical leaders can understand. This means aligning with gold-standard frameworks, having a platform that unifies all cyber efforts together and communicates how applications, vendors, partners, or business units are doing on cyber risk and posture. CyberStrong does all of these things are more, implementing a universal language for cyber for the future of both the public and private sectors.

The NCSAM 2018 Toolkit from DHS is a comprehensive guide and a collection of resources that make it easier for stakeholders to understand, promote, and act on National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this year. Cyber Tips, social media content, twitter chat participation instructions, and more are included.