Ringing the Bell for Cyber Security Awareness
Tue, Oct 16, 2012 by Mary Landesman
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In recognition of that, the National Cyber Security Alliance teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security and the security industry to sponsor the opening bell ceremony at NASDAQ. Held at 4 Times Square on Monday, October 15, the principal bell ringer was Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. Also participating was Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, both of NYC, as well as representatives from dozens of security companies (including Cloudmark).
The event was preceded by a breakfast at NASDAQ which provided a great opportunity to chat about specific threats we’ve been observing at Cloudmark. At the top of that list were the barrage of SMS phishing attacks that continue to plague mobile users. As we’ll discuss in a later blog post, it’s not just the increase in SMS phishing numbers that is so concerning – it’s also the sophistication in the social engineering methods used in the attacks. There was also some chatting about passwords and how to devise better solutions that are truly scalable.
Though October is designated Cyber Security Awareness Month, the National Cyber Security Alliance operates year round to promote better online security practices. Whether you want to protect yourself, protect your business, or help educate others, the NCSA has many opportunities for you to get involved.
One thing any smartphone user can do to further online security – forward any SMS spam you receive to 7726 (7-7-2-6 spells S-P-A-M on old style alpha-numeric keypads). Forwarding SMS spam to 7726 not only helps protect other users, it also helps mobile providers investigate and take action against SMS spammers and scammers.
Overall, the bell ringing ceremony was a fun event with a serious message. It’s great to see the industry come together to fight cybercrime and Cloudmark will certainly continue to be a part of that effort.