Fort Drum digital security experts are taking this month’s observance of the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month as an opportunity to ask people to continue exercising caution online, especially on government computers.
“The ease and risk of doing business in the information age continue to rise,” said Charlie Ham- berger, chief of Information Assurance Division at Fort Drum’s Network Enterprise Center.
“Being vigilant online must be a part of every person’s daily routine,” he said, adding that the Internet and mobile communi- cations have become a means by which people do everything from connect with friends to conduct business.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between U.S. government and private industry to ensure Americans have resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.
The national campaign is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.
In 2009, the DHS adopted “Stop.Think.Connect” as the mot-to for the NCSAM, which emphasizes every citizen’s role in creating and maintaining a secure cyber environment.
“Everyone plays a part in cyber security,” Hamberger said. “Everyone has a key role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use both at work and at home.
“Cyber security practitioners are in agreement that the weakest link in any security ‘armor’ is at the keyboard, which is why user education and vigilance are absolutely vital for successfully protecting critical systems and information,” he continued. “By extending this education and vigilance to their homes, users can also help secure their personal information.
“Technology has changed our lives, creating an interconnected world within business and social circles,” he added. “One of the biggest priorities at the Fort Drum NEC is protecting our digital infrastructures.”
Critical “digital infrastructures” encompass the global network of computers, data and websites that support everything from financial transactions, transportation systems and emergency response systems to health care records and personal communications in cyberspace.
“Basically, cyberspace has become a place in the 21st century” where citizens work, bank, shop and socialize, Hamberger explained.
“Unfortunately, hostile and criminal elements have come to realize this and seek every opportunity to exploit weaknesses,” he said. “These people are smart, aggressive, persistent and highly adaptable, so the threat is ever-changing.”
Cyber experts say taking common-sense precautions can keep sensitive information secure while also preventing identity theft and fraud.
The “Stop.Think.Connect.” campaign is aimed at helping people remember to pause, understand the consequences of any action or behavior, and then enjoy the benefits of being online.
This year, each week in October has highlighted a different element of awareness, including cyber crime, safety and security on mobile devices, cyber security as a “shared responsibility,” educating the next generation of cyber leaders, and how cyber and physical security intersect when protecting the nation’s infrastructures.
For any questions regarding cyber security, contact the NEC’s Information Assurance Division at 772-2246 / 3909 / 5895.