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Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT: October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month


October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual collaboration between government and industry that brings attention to cybersecurity initiatives and the importance of taking steps to be safer and more secure online.

NCSAM 2019's message is "Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.," focusing on the areas of citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security that can be improved by personal accountability and taking measures to enhance home and workplace cybersecurity. Resources provided by the NCSAM 2019 Toolkit guide organizations in promoting the month of awareness, with engagement ideas, public messaging, tips and key messages, and a sample communications calendar. For individuals, NCSAM 2019 resources include information on travel, online privacy, social media, the Internet of Things, passwords, fishing, e-commerce, social media bots, digital homes, and more.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its members have a long history of contributing to cybersecurity initiatives, guidelines, and awareness. Some of the Institute's current or recent initiatives include:

  • Emerging professionals in the standards and conformity assessment community can join the conversation in an upcoming event, "Standards and Conformity Assessment in the Digital Age," held by the United States National Committee (USNC) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an ANSI committee. The event will bring together distinguished experts in the fields of cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, conformity assessment, and standards development to highlight the important role of standards and conformance in the ever-expanding digital sector. The summit will be held on November 8 in Washington, DC.
  • ANSI collaborated with the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and the DKE German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE, to hold a day-and-a-half standards panel discussion in 2018 focusing on cybersecurity and other challenges and solutions for smart manufacturing, mobility, and agriculture. Following the event, ANSI released a comprehensive report from the U.S.-German Standards Panel that is freely available for all interested stakeholders.
  • The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) offers accreditation for personnel certification bodies under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies operating certification programs, including certification bodies for cybersecurity professionals. Some examples can be found in the Accreditation Directory by searching "cyber," "hacker," "information systems," and "security."

Many American National Standards provide guidelines for practices and technology that support cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. They include ASTM F3286-17, Standard Guide for Cybersecurity and Cyberattack Mitigation, developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International; ANSI C137.2-2019, Cybersecurity Requirements for Lighting Systems - Parking Lots, developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA); and standards for software cybersecurity, , developed by ANSI member and audited designator UL.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, is a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused on cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. It is designed to support the country's ability to address current and future cybersecurity challenges through standards and best practices. NICE's mission is to energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. Learn more about NICE and its work.

Check out ANSI's Cybersecurity Portal and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's website on National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019 to learn more about improving best practices for online safety and security.

Related items: Cybersecurity Standards and the 2015 Ukraine Power Grid Attack (by Sam Cohen, Georgetown University, winner of the 2019 ANSI student paper competition.)

As Cyber-threats Evolve, Standardization Organizations Resolve to Provide Updated Solutions


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]