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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

This month is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), marking the tenth year that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance have brought people and organizations together to discuss ways to stay safe online. ncsam10_logo252_80

More than ever, people around the world are using the Internet for social and business transactions. And we have more devices and “things” – from cars to home security and heating – connected through the Internet today. While it is exciting to see innovative Internet and Web applications that are enriching our lives, unfortunately security is not always top priority with product development, and being connected through the Internet provides the opportunity for some malicious individuals to wreak havoc.

That is why October as NCSAM provides an excellent forum for individuals, businesses and government entities to come together to address cyber security. The NCSAM theme of “Our Shared Responsibility” is a powerful message about how education and individual actions can have a collective impact on Internet security.

I invite you to take part in NCSAM with me and Qualys as everyone can make a difference. Here are the ways that I plan to take part:

  • Qualys has signed up as a Champion in support of NCSAM. There is no fee for any company to sign up as a Champion; it is simply a great way to build awareness and show your support for NCSAM.
  • Spread the word to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. This simple NCSAM message is powerful to share with everyone – family members, coworkers and children. Help spread the word through company IT education, social media, volunteering at local schools, and by helping family members.
  • As the holidays come, I plan on helping my family members and friends keep their computers patched and updated with the latest software. I also plan on talking to them about using their common sense as they go online. For example, it is important to think carefully about the information that you choose to share online, and with whom you choose to share it.
  • Sharing tips. Throughout this month, my colleagues and I will be sharing tips and best practices for staying secure online.

Data Privacy Day 2013: Tips for “Digital Citizens”

Data Privacy Day 2013Data Privacy Day is observed worldwide every year on January 28. The purpose of the day is to promote the importance of protecting privacy, and the methods to manage how and with whom privacy data is shared electronically. The 28th of January is selected as the day each year because it marks the anniversary of the signing of the “Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data” by the council of Europe in 1981.

Many people confuse data privacy and data security. While there are similarities, privacy and security are not the same thing. Data security focuses on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and information technology resources, whereas data privacy is about an individual’s ability to retain control over his or her personally identifiable information (PII).

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Be Prepared: 4 Steps To Better Data Disaster Planning


Andrew Wild

While more than a month has gone by since the devastating Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, the photographs and videos of the incredible destruction will be hard to forget. During a disaster, the priority must be the safeguarding of life, but it is important to also think about safeguarding information. I can’t even begin to imagine how much data (in printed or electronic form) has been damaged by the floods and fires that resulted from this storm. We should all evaluate our own ability to secure critical information technology resources from the threat of another disaster.

Information management policies and procedures are important to ensure the confidentiality of an organization’s information. Proper disaster planning begins with documented information management policies and procedures, including identification, classification, handling and destruction.

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month Encourages Americans to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

October is one of my favorite months of the year. The hot humid days of summer change to cool, crisp days and chilly nights. We have football to watch and beautiful fall foliage to enjoy. October is also the month of the year when everyone, not just information security professionals, reflects upon cyber security because October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) (http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/) .

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