October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Data Security Call-to-Action Continues

Most us remember from our school days that every October is National Fire Prevention Month, the time for an annual nationwide campaign to increase awareness of how to protect ourselves from fire. Fast forward to the internet age and October now has the added designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time to promote the importance of cybersecurity and protecting ourselves against online privacy attacks and data breaches.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

NCSAM 2019 is emphasizing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. The overarching message – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – focuses on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and ecommerce security.

The NCSAM website offers a variety of promotional materials, tips and suggested activities for individuals and businesses.

CUNA and the state leagues continue to press Congress to establish a national data security standard that subjects all entities with access to personal financial data to the same privacy protections as financial institutions under the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, and holds any entity found responsible for a data breach liable for the resulting card reissuing and fraud costs.    

Stopping the data breaches is the subject of CUNA’s latest Member Activation Program (MAP) campaign launched in August to activate credit union members to call on their members of Congress to act.

Individuals can also visit the CUNA/League-system’s Stop the Data Breaches website where they can easily email their Capitol Hill lawmakers to encourage them to act.

And, with more than 10,000 breaches compromising more than 12 billion consumer records since 2005 alone, what better time could there be to contact Congress on this issue than during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?