COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – October 18th, 2021 – The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) announced the public launch of its Cybersecurity for State Leaders cyber awareness training curriculum in support of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
“Cyberspace is an enormous Cold War domain that is rapidly heating up. Lawmakers must take action to protect our country,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper.
Many state leaders, including Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, have been outspoken on the importance of cybersecurity. “October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it serves as a critical reminder that our nation must do more to protect against cyber-attacks. Elected officials have a responsibility to do all that they can to keep the American people safe and that includes addressing our cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could impact millions of Americans’ lives. As the cyber capital of America, Maryland is proud to support efforts to share best practices and bolster our defenses,” said Governor Hogan.
The curriculum was developed as part of the Cybersecurity for State Leaders nationwide initiative led by the NCC and supported by Google to share important cybersecurity awareness and cyber hygiene best practices with leaders in all 50 states.
Unique to the Cyber for State Leaders curriculum is the accessibility of the material. State leaders and their staff have had the opportunity to participate through live briefings, briefing recordings, and a new text-to-learn option that sends short texts covering the material reviewed over just five days.
In the hour-long briefing, and text option, participants walk through why specific types of cyber-attacks are so effective, and how to protect themselves through an easy-to-remember acronym of “Don’t Get DUPED”:
– Deploying Multi-Factor Authentication
– Updating software regularly
– Passwords – protecting and managing them
– Encrypting important emails, files and back-ups
– Don’t click on things you shouldn’t (and what to do if you accidentally did)
For each best practice, senior experts and researchers from Google, Microsoft, IBM and others share how to best deploy each of these tools in daily life, and their own practical tips for how they protect themselves.
“The cyber world is our next frontier. And much like previous expansions into new territories, the risks are high and security is limited. But we are not alone in this new world. There are so many opportunities and resources available to help educate us on cybersecurity risks, and how we can defend ourselves and our communities. Cyber for State Leaders is one of those resources that helps focus in on the key steps we should all take to be more cyber-safe,” said Robert Herjavec, investor on ABC’s Shark Tank and founder and CEO of Herjavec Group, and special guest on Cyber for State Leaders.
The public is encouraged to view the short videos on the topics outlined, as well as phishing, SIM swapping, physical device security, and others on the NCC’s YouTube Channel. Individuals can also sign up for the free text-to-learn option here. A final resource is a free cybersecurity app specifically designed for a non-technical audience that aims to enhance personal and organizational cybersecurity awareness. The app may be accessed and downloaded here.
“Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here and it’s more critical than ever,” said Harry D. Raduege, Chief Executive Officer of the National Cybersecurity Center, Lt. Gen USAF. “Nation states and cyber criminals are escalating their activity, and they don’t distinguish between individuals, small or big businesses, local or state governments. We are all in this together, and that’s why we want to make sure that individuals know they aren’t alone in this fight and that there are resources to protect themselves.”
The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) is a non-profit organization established for cyber innovation and awareness. Established in 2016 from the vision of United States Senator from Colorado John Hickenlooper, in coordination with several people from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) and the community, the NCC serves both public and private organizations and individuals through training, education and research. Discover NCC at https://cyber-center.org/.