National Cyber Security Awareness Month, abbreviated as NCSAM, has been observed annually in October since 2004. The initiative emerged as a combined effort between the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division as an effort to draw attention to the value of cybersecurity in an increasingly technological world.

Each year NCSAM shapes its discussions around a central theme. The theme is then broken down into further subdiscussions in order to provide resources for all users in order to promote the importance of cybersecurity. 2018’s them draws attention to cybersecurity as a shared responsibility, one which requires collaborative effort in order to improve our national cybersecurity. Each week during October, NCSAM draws attention to one specific goal with the aims of raising awareness and promoting secure habits while working online.

Goal 1: Promote Online Safety at Home
NCSAM 2018 encourages families, parents, and guardians to educate their children about the importance of maintaining secure behaviors while working online. Just like we teach our children about the dangers and risks of the real world, children must be educated about similar threats online. Because technology continues to become increasingly omnipresent and integrated into our daily functions, it is crucial that an entire household be aware of how to navigate the online world without compromising private information, financial data, and personal safety.

Goal 2: Raise Awareness for Jobs and Careers in Cybersecurity
Despite technology’s ubiquity, our nation still lacks a full workforce of cybersecurity professionals trained to protect us against the risks of working online. By targeting children, adolescents, and young adults and informing this audience about the vast potential of a career in cybersecurity, we as a nation will be adequately prepared to take action against cybersecurity risks. We need to continue to promote training programs within secondary schools in order to cultivate interest and better prepare our nation’s youth for careers in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity jobs are available in multiple sectors, and they can result in well-paying, and highly-rewarding lifelong careers. By drawing attention to the importance of cybersecurity jobs, NCSAM hopes to inspire our younger generations to take action against cybersecurity risks.

Goal 3: Online Safety in the Workplace is Everyone’s Responsibility
Regardless of your job description, you are responsible for maintaining safe and secure practices while online at work. The lines of security become increasingly blurred because the internet allows us access to our files and accounts whether in the office, at home, or connecting to public wifi. As such, we must continue to be vigilant about our online behaviors and protecting our accounts. By drawing attention to the fact that everyone at the workplace has an integral part in maintaining a secure digital presence, NCSAM hopes to encourage businesses of all sizes to have important discussions with employees regarding internet safety.

Goal 4: Protect Critical Infrastructures Against Cybersecurity Risks
Life in the United States is contingent upon 16 different sectors of essential infrastructure that are responsible for supplying citizens with access to food and water, electricity, financial services, medicine, and essential information. Each of these infrastructures is contingent upon lines of communication distributed through digital channels, which, if compromised could result in severe interruptions to our national day-to-day life. By discussing the importance of online security and protecting our critical infrastructure, NCSAM strives to find ways to continue to strengthen our digital networks and guarantee public safety.

BMG Money encourages its customers to take part in National Cyber Security Awareness Month’s efforts to promote a safe and secure digital presence while working online. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help with a loan, need financial assistance, or have questions about protecting your digital accounts.

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