WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, highlighted National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which begins October 1. During the month of October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Cyber Security Alliance, and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center raise awareness on cybersecurity in an effort to educate Americans about protecting themselves online. With so many Americans using the Internet for banking, shopping, and personal communication, it is critical that information online is protected from cyber intrusions. While the national awareness campaign encourages Americans to be more cautious online, it also reminds Americans to recognize the importance of cybersecurity in their daily lives.
“As Delawareans and Americans continue to share and store more personal information online, we must remain vigilant and make ourselves aware of the threats that exist in cyber space,” said Sen. Carper. “National Cyber Security Awareness Month serves as an important reminder for everyone to better understand the importance of cybersecurity and to take action to keep their personal information secure online, not just in October but every day.
“National Cyber Security Awareness Month also serves as an important reminder for Congress to meet our responsibility when it comes to securing cyber space. Last year, Congress made strides in bolstering our nation’s cyber defenses by passing four bipartisan cybersecurity bills that strengthen our national security and help modernize our nation’s cybersecurity and cyber workforce. But more must be done. I hope my colleagues act without further delay and pass a bill that helps the private sector and the federal government share more information about the threats coming from cyber space. This kind of information sharing bill is critical to our national security, as well as the security of many private companies across our country.
“Improving our cyber security practices must remain one of the top priorities for Congress, the Administration, and every American. This month, let’s seize the opportunity and do all that we can to keep ahead of the growing cyber threat and stay safe online.”
Here are some tips Americans can use to improve their cybersecurity practices:
- Set strong passwords and regularly change them.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information on National Cyber Security Month and what Americans can do to protect themselves online, visit: http://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month
In July, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (S.1869), introduced by Sens. Carper and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), which would require that all federal agencies implement stronger protections and state-of-the-art technologies to defend against cyberattacks. It would also accelerate the deployment and adoption of the Department of Homeland Security’s federal cybersecurity program known as EINSTEIN. In February, Sen. Carper introduced the Cyber Threat Sharing Act of 2015 (S.456), which would take critical steps to remove barriers in order to increase the sharing of cyber threat data between private industry and the federal government.
Last Congress, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authored several cybersecurity bills, which the president signed into law in December. Those include the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (P.L. 113-283) to update the Federal Information Security Management Act, the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-282) authorizing a National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security for information sharing, and two bills to improve the federal cybersecurity workforce — the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act (P.L. 113-246.) and the Border Patrol Pay Reform Act (P.L. 113-277) (which contains provisions from the DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014).