Norwich University Holds Inaugural Cyber Security Awareness Month

Norwich University Holds Inaugural Cyber Security Awareness Month

By Kris Rowley, lecturer, computer security, School of Business and Management

For the first time, Norwich University recognized and celebrated Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsoring a number of events on campus throughout the month of October to educate both the university community and the general community at large on this critical issue.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners each October, through events and initiatives to raise cybersecurity awareness, tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and education to increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber-incident. This year, 2016, marked the 13th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

To kick off the month, Norwich President Richard Schneider signed a proclamation making October Cyber Security Awareness Month for Norwich. This proclamation was very similar to the ones signed by governors across the country as well as the President of the United States. Having support from the top level of the university helped to promote and set the stage for a stronger university-wide cyber stance moving forward.

There were a number of speakers for the month, including keynote speaker Stacey Wright, from the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). She formerly worked with the FBI out of Albany, N.Y., and is an expert who speaks nationwide on cyber security topics. Other speakers included special agents from the FBI, who came to Norwich to talk about cybercrime both within state as well as across the nation. We were also very fortunate to have Heather Roszkowski, CISO for information technology at the University of Vermont Medical Center, in Burlington to discuss cyber security from a health care viewpoint.

Other events held throughout the month included weekly security quizzes and challenges with prizes awarded to the winners. Students working to organize the month’s events also presented 30 minute lectures to various classes throughout the university.

The event was organized by Professor Kris Rowley, who teaches for the School of Business and Management and specializes in computer security/information assurance. In the months leading up to NCSAM, Rowley worked to elevate the security posture of the university, as well as on building a faculty/staff online security awareness training program, “Securing the Human.“

Rowley was assisted in this effort by five very talented and dedicated CSIA students: Alexandra Ruediger, Mary Fitzpatrick, Audrey Wyman, Emily Fernald, and Bethany Lefebvre. These students were the creative force behind the events that were presented this year. Their energy and enthusiasm resulted in a great first annual Cyber Security Awareness Month for Norwich University, and set a high bar for Cyber Security Awareness Months to come.