The internet is a vital component to our communication network. Today’s society relies heavily on the internet for real time news, weather forecasts, disaster preparedness advice, medical advice and more. The more important a resource, the more it tends to draw potential attackers. This necessitates a need for cybersecurity and a greater awareness.
Cybersecurity is defined as “measures taken to protect a computer or computer system (as on the Internet) against unauthorized access or attack.” An attack can be anything from a playful high school geek testing the limits to a foreign government leading a malicious attack.
“America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity,” said President Obama.
Last month the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS), an online resource for cybersecurity career, education, and training information.
“DHS is committed to working with our partners in academia and throughout the private sector to develop the next generation of cyber professionals to protect against evolving cyber threats,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “NICCS provides a comprehensive online resource for cyber education and training.”
NICCS aims to provide a comprehensive, single resource to address the nation’s cybersecurity knowledge needs. This implementation tool supports the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a nationally-coordinated effort that focuses on cybersecurity awareness, education, workforce structure, and training/professional development. NICCS makes research and training information available on a single website. Users can search for trainings based on location, preferred delivery method, specialty area, or proficiency level.
What can you, as an individual citizen, do to protect your personal information?
• Passwords. Set strong ones. Combine letters and numbers. Change them on a regular basis.
• Run updates. Updates to your operating system, browser and other programs will keep your system current.
• Utilize privacy settings.
• Be cautious about giving away information online.
• Install and use anti-virus software on your computer.
NICCS was developed in close partnership between DHS, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Personnel Management.
This article was taken in part from a press release by the DHS.
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