It has become customary, in the last few years, to designate October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month [NCSAM]. The aim of the event is to increase awareness of security issues, and good security practices, not just among technical people but among computer users in general. Cyber security is a little like fire safety; if your neighbor’s house or property is a serious fire hazard, it affects you, too. Similarly, if your neighbor’s or colleague’s machine is made part of a botnet, or gets a nasty malware infection, it puts others at risk, also. The event is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a consortium of tech and financial companies, educational institutions, and government agencies, also aims to promote the concept of cyber security as a shared responsibility.
The good folks at the SANS Internet Storm Center [SANS ISC] are planning to present a special diary (=blog) post every day on the theme of “Standards and Security”, to mark the month. Although these posts will be at least somewhat technical, SANS also has its own awareness site, called Securing the Human. (I wrote about this site back when it was launched, in late 2010; as I observed at the time, many security problems are characterized by the acronym PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.) The site also offers a free security awareness newsletter, called OUCH!. They will also feature some security webcasts during the month; see the main SANS ISC site for details.
This month, Random Walks will have a button linked to the main NCSAM page, and I will also try to focus on security topics that are of special importance to end users. If you are a system or network admin, I encourage you to do likewise.