By Corey McKenna
Oct. 03, 2005
Sunday marked the first day of October and the start of National Cyber
Security Awareness Month with state, local and federal government
officials joining industry groups and computer security companies to
highlight efforts that will be taken this month to educate consumers
in how to stay safe online.
New York State, the University of North Carolina and the city of
Charlotte, N.C., are joining the Department of Homeland Security, the
National Cyber Security Alliance and numerous companies from the
computer security industry to promote educational initiatives and free
software giveaways to encourage the adoption of good cyber security
practices in small businesses and citizens' homes.
New York Governor George Pataki is one of the first governors to
accept an invitation by the National Cyber Security Alliance to sign a
proclamation setting aside this month in recognition of the importance
of cyber security. On its Web site, the New York Office of Cyber
Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination offers a link to a
calendar of cyber security awareness events for the month.
One of those events is a two-day cyber security summit in the state
capital of Albany hosted by Government Technology Conference and the
State of New York on October 19th and 20th. The summit includes
sessions focused on teaching children to stay safe online and how
state and local government officials can improve the state of cyber
security in the agencies they manage.
The mayor of Charlotte, N.C., Pat McCrory has joined Pataki in issuing
a proclamation recognizing October as National Cyber Security
Awareness Month. In addition, University of North Carolina at
Charlotte graduate students will conduct free public workshops at
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Public Library branches the week of Oct.
3-9. Workshops are scheduled for 6 p.m., Oct. 3, at the Main Library,
310 North Tryon St.; 6 p.m., Oct. 4 at the Beatties Ford Road Branch
Library, 2412 Beatties Ford Road; 2 p.m., Oct. 6 at the South County
Regional Library, 5801 Rea Road; and 3 p.m., Oct. 9 at the North
County Regional Library, 16500 Holly Crest Lane in Huntersville.
In addition, the annual 2005 Fall Computer Security Symposium for
computer security professionals will be held Wednesday Oct. 12, at UNC
Charlotte's University Cone Center.
The conference is open to cyber security professionals, including
business continuity professionals, IT managers, software developers,
systems administrators, information security professionals and policy
Speakers will include Pulitzer Prize finalist Robert O'Harrow, author
of "No Place to Hide," as well as industry leaders, the Department of
Homeland Security, and the FBI.
San Diego State University has also planned cyber security-related
educational activities for the month of October.
The National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland
Security will be airing a public service announcement titled "Stop,
Think, Click" to encourage consumers to protect their personal
information through safe Internet browsing practices. NCSA and DHS
will also be sponsoring a variety of regional events such as small
business workshops and cyber security bootcamps as well as student
assemblies, Web casts and events at college campuses to raise
awareness of cyber security among the academic community.
"Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness
of the importance of cyber security and empower all Americans to
protect themselves online and ensure that their computers are not used
to attack others," said Andy Purdy, acting director of the National
Cyber Security Division at the Department of Homeland Security.
"We share a common goal with Homeland Security and our industry
partners, to provide Americans with the tools and information they
need to practice safe online behaviors during National Cyber Security
Awareness Month and throughout the year," said Ron Teixeira, Executive
Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.
McAfee and RSA Security are among the companies participating in
National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Recognition of the importance of cyber security during the month of
October isn't limited to the United States. The conference, "Cyber
Security: Dimensions of Critical Infrastructure Protection" is taking
place in Munich, Germany October 25-28 where over 150 information
security experts and government officials will meet to discuss the
challenges of cyber security and the protection of critical
This year, public officials have been pushing hard on promoting
Internet safety and cyber security. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate
passed a resolution recognizing June as National Internet Safety
Month, which led to a series of educational events aimed at keeping
kids and teens safe online.
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