Focus On Cybersecurity

For many Wisconsinites, 2020 has been a groundbreaking year for the use of technological connection to maintain daily life. Our jobs, our schools, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are dependent on the internet.

Under the overarching theme of “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”, the 17th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is focused on encouraging individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. This year’s campaign stresses personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.

Throughout the month of October, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will share tips and information for consumers and businesses related to the NCSAM weekly themes:

Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
If you connect it, protect it. The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. This network of connections creates both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations across the globe. The first week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight the ways in which internet-connected devices have affected our lives and will empower all users to take steps to reduce the risk of their devices being hacked.

Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
The year 2020 saw major changes to the way many of us work, learn, and socialize online. Our homes are more connected than ever. Our businesses are more dependent on the internet than ever. With more people now working from home, these two environments are colliding on a scale we have never seen, introducing a completely new set of potential security vulnerabilities. Week 2 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will focus on the steps users and organizations can take to protect their internet-connected devices for both personal and professional use.

Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
The healthcare industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to improve patient care, organizational efficiency, speed of crisis response, and much more. The emergence of telemedicine, digital health records, internet-connected medical devices, patient wellness apps, and an increasing amount of third parties entering the health supply chain has created many benefits, but has also exposed the industry to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals regularly attempt to exploit. The third week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will delve into the industry (hospitals, care facilities) and consumer (telemedicine patients) implications of internet-connected device use, and how both parties can #BeCyberSmart.

Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices
The final week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will look at the future of connected devices. This week will look at how technological innovations, such as 5G, might impact consumers’ and business’ online experiences (e.g. faster speeds and data transmission, larger attack surface for hackers), as well as how people and infrastructure can adapt to the continuous evolution of connected devices moving forward. No matter what the future holds, every user needs to be empowered to do their part.

DATCP encourages Wisconsinites to participate in Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 this October. Learn more by following on Facebook or Twitter @WIConsumer. And we encourage all users to own their role in protecting connected devices. “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”