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31 October 2018

Wrapping up National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

By: Grant Schneider, Federal CISO

Tag: 2018 ncsam

The 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness month has come to an end and this year’s theme Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve it highlights the needs for all of us to work together to drive progress and help keep our nation safe and secure. In addition to the great work done by our Federal Agencies and industry partners, the Federal CIO and CISO Councils have been continually working hard to improve our Nation’s cybersecurity. This Administration is committed to protecting our nation and our people. Not only during the month of October, but every day.

In September, the Administration released the National Cyber Strategy, which is a call to action for industry and government to work together on common goals of protecting our national security and promoting our economic prosperity by enhancing our national cybersecurity. In addition, there are several critical policies that are critical to securing our IT investments including: 2018 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy - Cloud Smart and NIST 800-37: “Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems: a Security Life Cycle Approach.”

At our recent joint Federal CIO and CISO Council meeting, we also announced that Steven Hernandez, the CISO for the Department of Education, will serve as the agency co-chair for the Federal CISO Council.

Throughout this month, I have had the opportunity to talk with cybersecurity leaders from government, academia, and industry. Some of the topics discussed were:

  • Maintaining a skilled cybersecurity workforce
  • Taking a risk based approach to cybersecurity
  • Moving to and securing cloud infrastructure and//shared services
  • Enhancing threat and vulnerability information sharing
  • Protecting critical infrastructure
  • Holding individuals accountable for cybersecurity

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month provides an opportunity to provide everyone the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats. While good cybersecurity practices must be addressed year-round, I hope everyone has taken the time this month to identify new ways to safeguard your computer and protect our nation.

Each of these topics is highlighted in the National Cyber Strategy and I look forward to collaborating on ways to address them.