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.
There are official events organized by DHS and cooperating agencies as well as independent events that piggyback on the increased interest in cybersecurity throughout October. We've gathered a quick list of what we consider to be can't miss events for Cyber Security Awareness Month.
- Cyber Defense Summit (October 1-4; Washington, DC) - Organized by a security company, FireEye, this event draws cybersecurity experts at every level and from every industry. Attendees will exchange techniques and strategies with frontline responders, analysts and researchers, government officials and high-level executives. Former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright will be a keynote presenter at this event.
- IANS Washington, DC Information Security Forum (October 2-3; Washington, DC) --IANS, an information security advisory and consulting firm, designed this event to be an education immersion for enterprise security leaders. Numerous CPEs are available to attendees who participate in the 30+ sessions that look at threat hunting, AI, cloud security, and more.
- Borderless Cyber USA (October 3; Washington, DC) -- A diverse group of global cybersecurity experts will share their recommendations and real-world experiences at this event. These experts will help attendees determine the right combination of measures to build confidence in a cybersecurity strategy. This event is hosted by The World Bank, OASIS Open Consortium, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, and Georgetown University.
- CXO Forum: The State of Cyber (October 4; Arlington, VA) - Organized by Government CIO Media, this event will include discussion on national risk management, supply chain vulnerabilities, industrial control and offensive capabilities by leaders from the National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Digital Service (USDS), Health and Human Services (HHS), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
- Cyber Maryland Conference 2018 (October 9-10; Baltimore, MD) -- Presented jointly by The National Cyber Security Hall of Fame and Federal Business Council (FBC) this event brings speakers from academia, government, and private industry organizations to discuss topics around the theme, "State of Cyber." The event looks at cyber from both the human and technological side.
- DC Cyberweek (October 15-19; Washington DC) -- Presented by CyberScoop, DC CyberWeek is an SXSW-style, city-wide festival that brings together thousands of leaders, experts and decision-makers from the cybersecurity community and features dozens of community conferences, events, and parties, open to all participants.
- 2018 Symantec Government Symposium (October 30; Washington, DC) - Organized by security vendor, Symantec, this event brings together cyber leaders from government and industry to discuss intelligent, integrated cyber solutions that meet today's security challenges.
Share your cybersecurity awareness month plans with us in the comments below!