AC NEWS


College joins cybersecurity alliance with Department of Homeland Security

by Joe Wyatt
Published October 10, 2017

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the Computer Information Systems Department at Amarillo College will observe it like never before – through a new alliance with the Department of Homeland Security.

ComputerhpAmarillo College in October became an academic ally in the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign, a national public awareness effort that increases the understanding of cyber threats and empowers the American public to be safer and more secure online.

“We want to take a proactive role in promoting cybersecurity,” Christopher George, instructor of CIS and chief proponent of the alliance at AC, said. “I believe that by joining this federal initiative we will realize benefits for our students, our institution and our community.”

The Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign is part of an unprecedented effort among federal and state governments, industry, and non-profit organizations and academic institutions to promote safe online behavior and practices. It is a unique public-private partnership, implemented in coordination with the National Cyber Security Alliance.

As a partner, Amarillo College will have access to cybersecurity tips to share with students and employees; Department of Homeland Security resources, tools and experts; monthly discussions about trends and best practices; and a large and diverse partner network universally committed to increasing online safety.

For its part, and in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, cybersecurity students at AC will focus on the following weekly themes:

 

Week 2: October 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business

 

Creating a culture of cybersecurity is critical for all organizations large and small businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and government agencies – and must be a shared responsibility among all employees. Week 2 will showcase how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats. The week will also look at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework.

 

Week 3: October 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

 

Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits to this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.

 

Week 4: October 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

 

According to a study by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, by 2022, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers. It is critical that today’s students graduate ready to enter the workforce to fill the vast number of available cybersecurity positions. Week 4 will encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers. Key influencers – like parents, teachers, guidance counselors and state and local officials – will learn more about this growing field and how to engage youth in pursuing cybersecurity careers.

 

Week 5: October 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats

 

The essential systems that support our daily lives – such as electricity, financial institutions, and transportation – are all dependent upon the Internet. Building resilience in critical infrastructure is crucial to our national security. Week 5 will look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure. It also facilitates the transition to November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (CISR), highlighting the tie between cybersecurity and our nation’s critical infrastructure.

 

For more information about CIS cybersecurity initiatives at Amarillo College, please contact Christopher George at (806) 371-5374 or c0245396@actx.edu.


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