Every October, the cybersecurity community comes together to highlight how each of us plays a role in the security of not just our own online identities, but of cyberspace as a whole. This year, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, organized by the Department of Homeland Security, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. This month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats.
The theme for 2018 is "Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility, and we all must work together to improve our Nation's cybersecurity." This focus on responsibility, both individual and organizational, is critical for a population becoming more and more dependent on Internet connectivity. A recent study found that while government tends to have better cyber hygiene than most industry sectors, overall, we are not doing all we can to secure our networks and all of the devices that connect to them. Only 50 percent of respondents said they were running authenticated scans and were able to patch vulnerabilities within a week of detection. Almost half use dedicated workstations and networks for administrative activities, but over 40 percent do not use multifactor authentication or don't require unique passwords for each system. Continue reading
With the ability to fast forward through commercials on our DVRs, brands have had to get more creative with their advertising. Speaking to a captive audience through sponsorship of events has proven to be one way to capture the short and distracted attention spans of today's consumers. But, as we've written about on this blog, with sponsorships becoming more appealing to brands, event organizers have to up their game from simply offering a logo on a sign to coming up with creative experience-based sponsorship packages. But these "packages" are not your grandfather's sponsorship options, today's sponsorships are personalized to both the event attendees and the sponsor.
This report suggests getting rid of the notion or gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship packages. Instead, it suggests tailoring the sponsorship offerings to the needs and even the mission of the sponsor organization. Key sponsors can be attracted by a package that aligns closely with their business mission and branding. A couple of ideas:
- Snack or break sponsors - Instead of just putting up a banner with "Break Sponsored by X Company" customize it to fit the sponsor. If they company has the word "red" in their name, have all red colored snacks available. If a sponsor's name includes the word "water," they may make a great option for sponsoring water bottles or stations.
- Sponsor lockers - Having a bank of lockers to store extra bags and electronics can be especially handy in urban locations where people take public transit. Pay for this addition with sponsor dollars from a cybersecurity company and come up with a catchy theme about keeping all your valuables locked up.
- Sponsor the wifi - Everyone loves free wifi. Let a sponsor get the credit for the perk of wifi and include a quick ad that pops up or rolls when people access the network. This would be great for a networking or telecom company that touts fast speeds or connectivity as part of their brand promise.
With the kids back to school, it's a great time to turn your attention to your own professional education. Lawyers, doctors, teachers and many other professions require periodic re-certification and have strict requirements for continuing education. Likewise, many government agencies and specialty programs like the Presidential Management Fellows, require their employees to attain a certain number of training hours a year, but for the majority of people, continuing education is completely voluntary.
For those seeking ongoing professional education, there are a number of classifications and categories of education credits available. Some of the most common include:
- CPEs - Continuing Professional Education. Offered by universities, professional organizations and private companies, these courses are typically accredited by the organization's governing body and help professionals stay current with their industry and its changes.
- CEUs -- Continuing Education Units. These credits tend to be related to licensed professions and are tied to the renewal of those licenses.
- Certifications - Certifications are an official marker of knowledge, study and mastery and are typically tied to a specific skill rather than a field of study.
- CLPs -- Continuous Learning Points. This form of learning credit was created by the DoD and acquisition communities. There is no central governing body or uniform set of standards for issuing CLPs making the process for offering and awarding CLPs less rigorous than that for CEUs.
The value in pursuing educational credits, even when not required, is in the outward expression of your desire to continue to grow and expand in your career. Having certifications as letters after your name provides a level of credibility. Continue reading
Biometrics is the use of an individual's unique physical and behavioral characteristics, typically used for identification and access control. Fingerprinting, the oldest form of biometrics, can be used for much more than identifying criminals. Fingerprint sensors have long been in use to allow individuals to login to their laptops, control physical access to buildings, track attendance of employees, and much more. Today, the focus is on improving facial recognition both for access to systems and facilities and as part of national security practices.
Facial recognition holds promise for accurately identifying who should and should not be in a specific place - whether that is a physical location like a building or an airport, or a virtual one like a set of classified files. However, the technology is not as reliable as the market requires. The impact of false positives and missed identities are measurably bigger when you are talking about identifying someone on a terror watch list rather than simply being locked out of your cell phone. There is considerable work being done to close the gaps between the promise of facial recognition and the reality of today's technology.
In a world where we are conducting more and more business online, biometric identification seems like a no-brainer for increasing the security of accessing personal data. But there is a privacy concern. Using biometrics means that organizations have access to very personal credentials and a recent ruling showed that the FBI does not need to disclose what biometric data it has on citizens. Continue reading
From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:
As a government employee, you may have heard about Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits and possibly aren't quite clear on what they are or why they matter. GovLoop also offers CPE credit on our online and in-person trainings, so we wanted to take a moment to explain what these credits are, who is behind the accreditation and why CPEs might be valuable to you and your career in government.
Continuing professional education (CPE) credits are made available through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). For an organization to offer CPEs, they must complete a rigorous process of certification and become a member of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Continue reading