Protecting against cyber threats is a critical challenge for organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sectors. These threats serve as a constant reminder for the need to promote cybersecurity awareness across the United States. Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 (CSAM) highlights the importance of “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
Cybersecurity Is Our Shared Responsibility
Citizens, businesses, government, and schools all play a vital role to improve our Nation’s collective cybersecurity preparedness. As recent events have demonstrated, we live, work, and play in an even more connected world. Our increased reliance on a remote environment reminds us that being more secure online is a shared responsibility. Creating a safer cyber environment requires engagement from the entire American community.
Each October, the MS-ISAC serves as a co-host with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and the National Cybersecurity Alliance in promoting CSAM. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is an increasingly safe, more resilient, and persistent source of opportunity and growth for years to come.
Build a Public Awareness Campaign for Your Community
There are endless no-cost resources available to state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments that will aid in creating your own public awareness campaign. The MS-ISAC Toolkit presents a suite of resources below to help guide your organization on ways to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower individuals in your community to be safer and more secure online. Let’s work together to remind Americans to “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
MS-ISAC Toolkit Resources
Make it Official
All 50 governors are being invited to endorse October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM) through the issuance of a proclamation or letter of support.Your organization can also participate by joining the nation’s SLTT governments in adopting a resolution or proclamation declaring CSAM.
Continued support from leaders is critical and demonstrates the significant interest in cybersecurity as a public need. Our goal this year is to help all Americans learn how they can take simple, measurable steps to change their behavior and protect themselves online.
Please use this sample proclamation template for your local officials to consider. We ask that your staff contact the MS-ISAC by emailing [email protected] to notify us when the proclamation is issued.
Train the End-User
2021 MS-ISAC Cybersecurity Toolkit
The MS-ISAC Cybersecurity Toolkit features educational materials designed to raise cybersecurity awareness through a variety of informative and practical means. The Toolkit has been developed by the MS-ISAC with customized material that can be widely shared across government, businesses, schools, and communities. The 2021 Toolkit materials are available for download below:
- 2021 Kids Safe Online Activity Book
- Cybersecurity Awareness Posters
- Cybersecurity Awareness Social Media Templates
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit
Cyber criminals do not discriminate; they target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a large corporation, a small business, or belong to a home user. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility in which all Americans have a role to play. The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit provides resources for all segments of the community.
MS-ISAC Monthly Newsletters
The MS-ISAC releases monthly newsletters focused on a relevant and timely cyber topic that is written for the end-user to understand. The newsletter is always available for download in Word doc format, where you may insert your executive or IT personnel’s name with your organization letterhead. It is a great way to keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your work force and community’s minds.
Bring Security Home
Help your community bring security home by learning how they can take simple, measurable steps to change their behavior and protect themselves online. There are many resources available to the public, including opportunities to educate our youth on the importance of staying safe online.
MS-ISAC Poster Contest:
Every year the MS-ISAC conducts a Cybersecurity Awareness Poster Contest to encourage young people to use the Internet safely and securely and to craft messages and images that will best resonate with their peers across the country. The contest is open to all public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Winning entries of the National Contest will be included in the MS-ISAC 2022 Kid’s Safe Online Activity Book. Entries received may also be used in other national, regional and state cyber and computer security awareness campaigns.
Stay Safe Online
Help your constituents learn how to protect themselves, their families and their devices with these tips and resources. Stay Safe Online provides information on basic online safety, responding to identity theft and fraud, securing accounts and devices, and much more.
Scholarship for Service (SFS)
Scholarship for Service (SFS) is a unique program that provides up to 3 years of support for cybersecurity undergraduate and graduate education. This is a great way to assist in funding education toward a rewarding, cutting edge career in cybersecurity!
Train Your Staff
Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)
The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) provides FREE online cybersecurity training to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government employees, federal contractors, US military veterans and the public. Managed by DHS, FedVTE contains more than 800 hours of training on topics such as ethical hacking and surveillance, risk management, and malware analysis.
The CIS CyberMarket helps MS-ISAC and EI-ISAC members, as well as other SLTTs, nonprofit organizations, and public education and healthcare institutions work together to save money on cybersecurity training.
Become More Mature
Nationwide Cybersecurity Review (NCSR)
The NCSR is a no-cost, anonymous, annual self-assessment designed to measure gaps and capabilities of state, local, tribal and territorial governments’ cybersecurity programs. The NCSR evaluates cybersecurity maturity across the nation while providing actionable feedback and metrics directly to you so you may leverage this data to increase your organization’s cybersecurity maturity.