October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Friday, October 4, 2019

Recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Indiana.

Throughout the month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance will raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity to ensure families, communities, businesses and the country’s infrastructure are better protected against cybercrimes.

According to a 2017 survey by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nearly 78% percent of Hoosiers are estimated to have access to the internet. Now, more than ever, it’s critical each Hoosier understands the importance of protecting their information while online.

Cybercrimes come in many forms, such as identity theft, financial fraud and online bullying and can cause great emotional harm and sometimes financial ruin for victims.

To ensure Americans stay safe while utilizing the internet, this year’s theme, Own IT. Secure It. Protect It., encourages personal accountability as well as proactive behavior in security best practice and digital privacy.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies made available an informational toolkit highlighting this year’s theme. This resource, available for free online, encourages proactive cybersecurity steps both at home and in the workplace.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security also offers ways Hoosiers can protect personal information online:

  • Use strong passwords;
  • Do not open unsolicited or unknown emails;
  • Use security software tools;
  • Enable stronger authentication for log-in information;
  • Know the intention of others online before providing access or information;
  • Keep web browsers and operating systems up to date;
  • Back up important files; and
  • Be cautious when shopping online.

To ensure our state is at the forefront of cybersecurity, Holcomb made an executive order in 2017 to continue the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity (IECC), which combats hacking and cyberattacks on individuals and organizations.

The IECC recently released a comprehensive statewide cybersecurity strategy plan to protect Hoosiers at all levels against cyber threats.

The Indiana Cybersecurity Hub also provides a variety of resources to increase safety while online. This website aims to serve as a central hub of information for Hoosiers, government officials and business owners to stay cyber secure.

For more information on Indiana’s cybersecurity efforts, visit GetPrepared.in.gov or the Indiana Cybersecurity Hub.