Free security awareness training - NCSAM October 2020So happy that we are finally doing this show in time to remind you to use the free security awareness training resources available for October which is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). There are a lot of free resources available to promote security awareness under that program released each year. Today, we are discussing how to use these resources to work out a plan for your training throughout October!

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Free Security Awareness Training Event – Ep 264

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Free Security Awareness Training Event

The last few years we have discussed the value of participating in the annual event created and led by the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). October has officially been National Cybersecurity Awareness Month since 2004. They publish a wide range of tools and events hosted by partners like us throughout the month. Tap into these resources to create a plan to promote this in your organization, with your clients, or even your community organizations. The theme for 2020 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”.

[19:42] Each week there is a focus on specific content published, but you are encouraged to create your own if something is more specific for your uses. Since the first two days of October end a week, they are doing kick-off events before starting the weekly themes on the week of Oct 5, 2020. Something special this year that makes it even more important to use in healthcare is we get our own special week!

Week 1: If You Connect It, Protect It

Week 2: Securing Devices at Home and Work

Week 3: Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare

Week 4: The Future of Connected Devices

There is so much out there that you can use to build a really interesting and well thought out month long program.  Just in the section with ideas about getting involved, there is so much you can do to build the basic plan for the month from that page.

There are packages of graphics and social media posts along with links to videos and webinars to share. Our companies are also Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions which includes a complete kit for building your promotions for the month. Most importantly, becoming a Cybersecurity Champion is easy and does not require any investment other than your time to use what is available.

Last year the CSA 405d task force planned events for the whole month and will likely offer something this year, as well. Watch for their information coming out each month because it is directed specifically at healthcare entities.

Who could use this and how?

[26:33] If you are the security officer or the one that cares about security in your organization, follow it to make a whole program.

If you are an MSP or a business that supports other organizations, like ours do, then become a champion and do an outreach program with all of your clients.

If you are active in community organizations, get them involved in the program since there are usually specifics to share within the community.

Even your family and friends can be part of the education. One idea suggested is to do a family meeting to discuss cybersecurity awareness as part of the events.  There should be something to offer everyone each week if they will simply agree to be educated.

How to get started

[31:06] Go to the website and review the information on the theme, how to get involved, become a champion and most importantly, review the resources and events pages.

The webinar telling you how to get involved will have taken place when this episode is released but I am sure the replay will be available on the website

How to participate

On Social Media

  • Follow the National Cyber Security Alliance on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn to receive the latest online safety news and resources.
  • Post online safety tips and reminders about Cybersecurity Awareness Month on your social networks. Use the hashtag #BeCyberSmart on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.
  • Download and share their sample social media posts leading up to and throughout the month on social media – download and share them all or customize them to your needs and interests!
  • Blog about cybersecurity in October. Choose a topic that appeals to you or highlight one of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month calls to action.

[38:39] At Work, At School, and In the Community

  • Become a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion, and show your organization or school’s official involvement in the month. It’s free and simple to sign up.
  • Post the Cybersecurity Awareness Month logo on your company or school’s external or internal website. You can link to the Cybersecurity Awareness Month “About” page to provide more info.
  • Send an email to colleagues, employees, customers and/or your school and community about the month and outline how your organization will be involved. Highlight the theme and messaging. You can use information from the toolkit in the email. See the “Employee Email Template” available to all Champions.
  • Include information about the month in your community newsletter. Highlight “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart”, and some of the key messages. You can use information from the Cybersecurity Awareness Month About page in the email.
  • Host a poster/video contest for students in which participants create informative online safety resources. Display the winning entries at school or share them with your community.
  • [41:15]Work with your leadership to issue an official proclamation to show your organization’s support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and its commitment to “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” Proclamations should highlight what your company does to practice cybersecurity.
  • Host a local or virtual event or training for your organization or community to discuss smart computer practices and relevant cybersecurity issues. Use the PowerPoint presentation template available to all Champions. Talk to community members about best security practices for email, social media and/or online transactions.
  • Post the new logo on your company or organization’s external or internal website. You can link to the Cybersecurity Awareness Month “About” page to provide more info.
  • Hold a brown bag lunch for employees to discuss your company’s IT security and acceptable use policies to improve cybersecurity and resilience within your organization.
  • Issue a company promotion related to the month such as a product discount, competition, or giveaways for customers.
  • Print Cybersecurity Awareness Month resources and display them in areas where community members spend time online.
  • Distribute the sample press release included in your toolkit. You can publish it as traditional media alerts and releases or publish it on your website’s blog to share with your online audiences.
    Conduct a mock phishing simulation with employees. Consider providing small prizes to those who performed well or were engaged in activities.
  • Distribute online safety materials and tip sheets. We have plenty of non-proprietary resources available to download and print in our library.
  • At the end of the month, send employees an email highlighting your activities and successes, and recapping the best practices learned throughout the month.

At Home

  • Sign up for NCSA’s newsletter to receive regular online safety news and resources.
  • Print NCSA resources and display them in areas where family members spend time online.
  • Hold a family “tech talk.” Learn and discuss how each family member can protect their devices and information.
  • Send an email to friends and family informing them that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and encourage them to visit for tips and resources.


You have no excuse! These resources are one of the easiest ways to promote the culture of security awareness that will protect all businesses. We get a bonus with one week of healthcare focus!

We are always trying to find ways to educate without costing any of us too much time or money. You can not beat free security awareness training! This is out there with great resources to make security awareness training a month long event without spending a lot of time or money at all. Use what is available instead of doing without because you can’t afford the time and money.

Remember to follow us and share us on your favorite social media site. Rate us on your podcasting apps, we need your help to keep spreading the word.  As always, send in your questions and ideas!

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