October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is being sponsored by the Department of Homeland Defense as well as the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.   In a Presidential Proclamation, President Obama called “upon the people of the United States to recognize the importance of cybersecurity and to observe this month with activities, events, and trainings that will enhance our national security and resilience.”  Many of the same corporations and universities who promote Privacy Day in January also promote NCSAM in October.

According to the FBI, since the first NCSAM was celebrated nine years ago the network security threat has continued to grow even more complex and sophisticated — “Just 12 days ago, in fact, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that ‘cyber security may well become our highest priority in the years to come.'”

There is no denying the obvious good in promoting security awareness and diligence.  It is hoped, however, that a month devoted to “cyber security awareness” does not inadvertently dilute the more important message that security diligence is something that should be done every day of the year.   On the other hand, to the extent NCSAM’s “Stop.Think.Connect.” message touches even one small business owner in Des Moines and makes her less likely to fall victim to a phishing exploit in the future, NCSAM will be a success.