Many people are unaware of just how extensively the internet impacts all of lives, reaching to many of the utilities and other services we all depend upon for light, heat, water, safety, and more. National Cybersecurity Safety Awareness Month in October leads right into Critical Infrastructure and Resilience Month. Protecting our nation’s most valuable resources is everyone’s responsibility.
As we reach the end of National Cybersecurity Safety Awareness Month in October, we lead right into Critical Infrastructure and Resilience Month, “a time to recognize the importance of safeguarding our nation’s most important assets that are the lifelines of our communities. From our transportation networks and banking systems, to utilities like power, water and gas, it is vital that we help first responders, emergency managers, the private sector, and public utility companies mitigate threats if and when they arise.”
We’ve all seen news reports of how regular citizens used social media to warn others when they observed a calamity or catastrophe in progress. We’ve heard about the impact cyberattacks on our election systems and how hacking and social engineering hurt all of us.
But many may not be as aware of the attacks that have already taken place on our power and other utilities and how enemies of the United States may exploit them to disable our defenses.
How You Help
It is vital that every one of us do our utmost to help keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our fellow Americans safe. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Hometown Security initiative suggests many resources and activities every citizen can help with. Simply following directions when participating in events in crowded places and making it easier for law enforcement to do their job is a major contribution.
There are also programs to help you develop School Safety and Security initiatives in your school, as well as a Connect, Plan, Train, Report program that will prepare you when you suspect or observe an oncoming attack.
The DHS Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign has been educating citizens for several years as a “national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. We each have to do our part to keep the Internet safe. When we all take simple steps to be safer online, it makes using the Internet a more secure experience for everyone.”
DHS even offers a Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month Toolkit which helps every citizen to clearly define what is included in the term “critical infrastructure” and learn how to best engage the private and public sectors to promote important best practices and obtain assistance.
And to make sure you’re keeping up on the latest information as it is released you can visit @DHSgov and #infrastructure on Twitter regularly for updates.
DHS reminds us that “Americans can do their part at home, at work, and in their local communities by being prepared for all hazards, reporting suspicious activities, and learning more about critical infrastructure security and resilience.”
Learn the Basics
Living, working, and playing on the internet is woven into the fabric of our lives now, yet many people have never learned the fundamentals of how the internet actually works, and how the ill-intended can use it to compromise many of the services we depend upon each and every day. Talk to a New Horizons counselor about courses given in our centers and online that will help you to better understand the inner workings of the environment we all share, the internet.