Science and Technology News

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doing Your Part For National Cyber Security Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

"Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself".



National Cyber Security Alliance Launches
Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education (C-SAVE) Program Focuses on bringing Cybersecurity Experts Into Nation’s K‐12 Schools To Educate Students and Teachers about Internet Safety and Security

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2009 – With studies finding that less than 25%** of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to keep themselves safe from online cyber predators, bullies, and online fraud, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has focused much of its efforts on providing K‐12 schools with the resources they need to better equip today’s digital generation.

Today at the RSA Conference, the NCSA announced the launch of a nationwide initiative – the Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Program (C‐SAVE) – that is focused on fostering opportunities for cybersecurity experts and IT security professionals to donate their time and tap their expertise to help educate elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet security and safety.

“There is an Internet safety and security knowledge gap,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “As we evolve into web based culture, our schools have not kept pace in teaching our youth to develop the skills they need to stay safe and secure online. Only 18%** of K‐12 curriculum discusses identity theft and only 22%** of teachers are comfortable teaching about cyberbullying. In these difficult financial times, C‐SAVE provides schools with a cost‐free opportunity to enrich the education experience and help improve the everyday lives of both their students and their teachers. It also provides information security professionals a wonderful opportunity to give back to their community.”

NCSA is seeking motivated individuals and corporations to approach local schools to deliver the C‐SAVE program. A comprehensive set of learning materials designed by a U.S. Department of Education veteran is available at www.StaySafeOnline.org/CSAVE.

Suggested lesson plans designed to meet the developmental level of young people at all grade levels provide clear, easy to understand instructions and tips for working in a classroom setting. In addition, resources are available that allow teachers and administrators to continue the conversation with their students and their students’ parents.

“We are living in a time when many of our children know much more about how to use the technology than their teachers and parents,” said Bill Sanderson, principal of the International Studies Academy high school in San Francisco. “Most of our students spend more time on the computer each day then they do watching television. School and parents have a responsibility to ensure that students can use computers safely, C‐SAVE will help better educate our children by leveraging the expertise of those who bring significant life experience making computers more secure. In turn, this program will also allow our teachers to better understand the online challenges our students face and better prepare them to harness the power of the Internet safely and securely.”

C‐SAVE also provides the opportunity to introduce students to the possibility of cybersecurity as a profession and become part of the next generation of cyber defenders. As part of the lesson plans, cybersecurity professionals are encouraged to talk about their job and the path they took to get to where they are.

EMC Corporation is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Striving to be active and socially responsible in its local and global communities, EMC encouraged its cybersecurity experts to participate in C‐SAVE. More than 25 EMC security practitioners have already agreed to volunteer at schools from Massachusetts to California and help train more than 1000 families on staying safe online.

“There is no doubt that both our nation’s students and teachers need assistance when it comes to Internet safety and security,” said Roland Cloutier, Vice President and Chief Security Officer of EMC Corporation. “Companies such as EMC and others have a vast amount of resources that can not only help to keep our children safer online, but also foster a better understanding of the responsibilities one must embrace when using the Internet.”

C‐SAVE was launched in collaboration with the NCSA’s K‐12 education working group and its corporate sponsors.

** Data from 2008 K‐12 National Cyberethics, Cybersafety, Cybersecurity Baseline Study. Full results can be found at wwwStaySafeOnline.MediaRoom.com/

About NCSA

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non‐profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the cyber infrastructure. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.StaySafeOnline.org for more information.

Contacts:

Aimee Larsen-Kirkpatrick
National Cyber Security Alliance
Phone: 202-756-3616
email: aimee@staysafeonline.org

Joshua Zecher
463 Communications
202-463-0013, ext. 206
email: josh.zecher@463.com



About National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its sixth year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC).

Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

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