The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) kicked off their 17th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) on October 1st.

NCSAM is observed each October to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the United States. When NCSAM first began, awareness efforts were centered around advice like updating antivirus software, and the theme for many years was “Our Shared Responsibility,” highlighting that cybersecurity is the responsibility of both the enterprise and the individual.

Last year, the theme was “Own, Secure, Protect,” and had fantastic results. Almost 2,500 organizations and individuals registered as 2019 CS Champions with a reach of over 50 million.

This year’s theme is “Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart,” and encourages individuals to take proactive steps to secure themselves online.

With a major increase in working from home compared to last October, “If You Connect It, Protect It” will also be a major focus area throughout the month and the main focus of week one. We have more devices connected to the Internet than ever before, and it is vital that individuals are taking the proper steps to secure themselves online.

The first week of NCSM will focus on how internet-connected devices have impacted our lives and empower users to take their own role in security and reduce their online risks.

Today, US households have an average of 11 connected devices, and those connected devices are attacked within 5 minutes once plugged into the Internet. As we bring in more devices and cross those devices between home and work, individuals must ensure the protection of those devices or else their personal and company data is at risk.

Additional weekly themes for NCSM include “Securing Devices at Home and Work,” “Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare,” and “The Future of Connected Devices.”

Each week, NCSA and CISA will release resources tied back to those themes. These resources include cybersecurity tip sheets, presentations, and social media posts your organization can utilize to get involved.

Also, make sure to check out our blog weekly as we will be following along closely with NCSM and sharing tips of our own.