October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security.
Every October since 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month—administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—reminds us of the importance of protecting not only our individual identities, finances, and privacy but also our country’s national security, critical infrastructure, and economy. Cyber security is a responsibility shared by all—the public sector, the private sector, and the general public.
Cyber security is growing in importance across most government agencies, from the military to the FBI. The FBI listed four prominent cyber security-related cases they have collaborated on in 2014.
- In August 2014, a Chinese national was indicted on charges stemming from a computer hacking scheme that involved the theft of trade secrets from American defense contractors.
- In June 2014, a multinational effort disrupted the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to have been responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from business and consumers in the U.S. and abroad.Details
- In May 2014, five hackers—members of China’s People’s Liberation Army—were indicted on charges of illegally penetrating the networks of six U.S. companies and stealing proprietary information, including trade secrets. Details
- Also in May 2014, the co-developers of a particularly insidious malware known as Blackshades—which is believed to have infected more than half a million computers around the world—were indicted. Details
Americans should be investing in their own cyber security by ensuring that their computers and other electronic devices are secure. This can entail checking endpoint security software like antivirus to ensure it is installed and configured properly and updating automatically. The home network, as it grows from just your ISP and a single computer, to smartphones, thermostats, smart TVs, and other devices, should also be reviewed to ensure your privacy is in control. Use different passwords for different sites and update your computer operating systems and software to the latest versions.
With October being National Cyber Security Awareness month, it’s the perfect time to review and learn more about protecting your network.