By Jeané Blunt. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and it is almost here. If you’ve participated in the past, then you’re used to the guest speakers, tips and tricks on how to stay safe online, and NCSAM signage dressing the walls of UC campuses.
This year, as you probably guessed, all events will be remote. I spoke with Cecelia Finney, the organizer of this year’s NCSAM festivities. Finney is an IT Security Analyst at UCOP and she leads the Systemwide Security Awareness Workgroup. The workgroup consists of at least one representative from each UC location and they meet regularly to work on systemwide security initiatives, awareness campaigns, and – perhaps their biggest project – organizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
As Finney explained, this year will be a little different. “We’ve created a centralized portal that will house all UC NCSAM resources. We’re in some very trying times and we realize that not all campuses have the resources to dedicate to NCSAM. We’re excited that this year, all campuses will have an opportunity to participate.”
Since this year we can’t put up NCSAM signage on campus, organizers are counting on you to download your campus-specific NCSAM Zoom background, so you can help spread the word. Download your background from the centralize portal.
UC NCSAM Events – Fun Films, Games, and Improv
NCSAM wouldn’t be NCSAM without the highly-anticipated list of cybersecurity events. Finney said, “I think right now we have in excess of 20 events planned. Two events I’m personally looking forward to are the feature short film “True Eye” from our partner Living Security. And we’re hosting a Cyber Escape Room, where teams and individuals can compete for prizes, that will be available on Oct. 19. We’re also very excited about adding gamification to our NCSAM campaign. It’s something new for us. We’re hoping to get an abundance of participation from the campuses.”
The security improv is another don’t-miss event. Rumor has it that the subjects of the improv may be a few familiar faces from here at UC, but you didn’t hear that from me.
I asked Finney what she hopes participants will take away from NCSAM 2020 at UC. “I hope that attendees have a better recognition of NCSAM and what it means,” she said. “I hope employees and families take away how to protect their safety online. I also hope everyone walks away with more knowledge about security awareness, and the realization that it can be fun.”