Security Awareness

Security Is Our Shared Responsibility

Kick off your 2017 security awareness communication planning with the calendar and ready-made content below.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

NCSAM Champion

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online. NCSAM is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). EDUCAUSE and the higher education information security community participate in the annual campaign each October, joining forces with a range of organizations to expand cybersecurity awareness and education on campuses around the globe.

Here are ten things you can do right now to prepare for NCSAM (October 1-31, 2017). 

  1. Become a 2017 NCSAM Champion today! It’s free and easy to sign up online. Join your peers and be recognized on NCSA’s website.
  2. Use the hashtag #CyberAware on social media.
  3. Download free promo materials from NCSA, including logos, sample social media posts, memes, infographics, and more. STOP.THINK.CONNECT. also offers free resources.
  4. Learn how to get more involved and make a difference this October and year round.
  5. Discover the 2017 weekly themes.
  6. Use our 8-question NCSAM Planning Guide worksheet (available in the NCSAM Resource Kit) to start planning your events or activities.
  7. Find free resources in our Cybersecurity Awareness Resource Library.
  8. Search for potential guest speakers in our Speakers Bureau.
  9. Announce the 14th anniversary of NCSAM in a campus newsletter, blog, or student paper. Consider using sample text from our Security Awareness Campaign materials for that month — October 2017: Information Security Is Our Responsibility.
  10. Save the date for a free EDUCAUSE Live! webinar on October 26, 2017 (1-2 pm ET).

We will share more ways to show your institution's support for NCSAM 2017 this summer, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, you can learn more about Texas A&M's successful cybersecurity awareness campaigns for students.

Annual Campus Security Awareness Campaign

The Campus Security Awareness Campaign is a framework created by the HEISC Awareness and Training Working Group that is designed to support security professionals and IT communicators as they develop or enhance their own security awareness plans. The campaign includes 12 Security Matters column blog posts on the 2017 monthly topics with ready-made content for your campus communication channels (linked below).

How to Use the Campaign Materials

The campaign provides monthly security awareness topics that information security professionals and IT communicators can integrate into campus communications. Using the additional ready-made content below, you can create a steady stream of privacy and security awareness information for students, faculty, and staff. Adapt the content to make it work with your current plans and campus needs—promote each suggested topic monthly or use a 90-day awareness plan to promote a group of topics quarterly. 

2017 Security Awareness Blog Posts

Each blog is written with end users in mind so you can quickly and easily adapt content for your campus awareness program, whether it’s using the pre-written content for a blog, newsletter, or website, or sharing suggested resources as tweets or Facebook posts. Additional resources, including posters, videos, and external references, are also provided. If you plan to create new materials, visit our Cybersecurity Awareness Resource Library for inspiration.

Note: Twelve new guest blogs with customizable content are now available for your 2017 planning purposes! The 2016 content is still available, as well.

  1. January 2017: Keep What's Private, Private #Privacy #PrivacyAware #CyberAware
  2. February 2017: Learn What It Takes to Refuse the Phishing Bait! #Phishing #CyberAware
  3. March 2017: Security Tips for Traveling at Home and Abroad #SafeTravels #CyberAware
  4. April 2017: Don't Be Fooled! Protect Yourself and Your Identity #IdentityTheft #CyberAware
  5. May 2017: Step Up to Stronger Passwords #StrongPasswords #CyberAware
  6. June 2017: Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security #CyberAware
  7. July 2017: Think You've Been Hacked? Here's How to Shake It Off! #Hacked #CyberAware
  8. August 2017: Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking? #CyberAware #PrivacyAware
  9. September 2017: Avoiding Ransomware Attacks #Phishing #Ransomware #CyberAware
  10. October 2017: Information Security is Our Responsibility (NCSAM) #CyberAware #PrivacyAware
  11. November 2017: Career Paths in Cybersecurity #InfoSecJobs #CyberAware
  12. December 2017: Your Mobile Devices Won't Secure Themselves! #MobileSecurity #CyberAware

2016 Security Awareness Blog Posts

  1. January 2016: Guard Your Privacy Online #Privacy
  2. February 2016: Guard Your Privacy When Offline or Traveling #Privacy
  3. March 2016: Securing Mobile Devices #MobileSecurity
  4. April 2016: Don’t Get Hooked #Phishing
  5. May 2016: Preventing Device Theft #PhysicalSecurity
  6. June 2016: Tunnel Into Secure Computing with VPN #VPN
  7. July 2016: What’s Your Personal Backup Plan? #StolenDevice
  8. August 2016: Online Safety and Security #SafeBrowsing
  9. September 2016: Will Your Password be Unbroken? #StrongPasswords
  10. October 2016: Information Security: Everyone’s Responsibility #CyberAware
  11. November 2016: Identity Theft—It Could Happen to You #IdentityTheft
  12. December 2016: Managing Your Online Reputation #SocialMediaSafety

Quick Tip: Initiate a Twitter Campaign Geared Toward Your Audience

  1. Set context for how your campus is celebrating the monthly or quarterly topics. Use a consistent hashtag for each month or for the entire year. Ex. Learn how to protect your online privacy this January. Follow our @OurCollegeName #Privacy tweets for tips throughout the month.
  2. Consider Tweets that start a conversation and be prepared to respond. Ex. Online gaming, shopping, and surfing put you at risk. Have a #Privacy question? We want to help you protect yourself. ASK AWAY! 
  3. Share tips on the monthly security awareness topic a regular basis. Pick a day of the week to share tips or spread them out. Help set expectations by including hashtags like #CyberSelfDefense #Friday.
  4. Point to additional resources with more information. (Consider linking to the SANS Security Awareness Tip of the Day.)
  5. Host a Twitter Chat or participate in the #ChatSTC Twitter chats.
  6. Follow the Twitter feeds of other information security departments for ideas, including: RIT Info Sec and ISG @ Brown.

Security Matters Guest Blogs

Get the latest on information security, privacy, and risk in higher ed. View Security Matters guest blogs from community members plus EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and REN-ISAC staff. 

View Latest Blogs

NCSAM 2016 Webinar

A recording, transcript, and slides are available for the October 11, 2016 EDUCAUSE Live! webinar with Lance Spitzner and Dr. Johannes Ullrich.

View Resources

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