Posted: Oct 8, 2020

Bismarck, N.D.     |     Today, in conjunction with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the theme ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’ Governor Burgum issued a proclamation to bring awareness to protecting our state and citizens from increasing cyber threats due to COVID-19. North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) also announced a new statewide cybersecurity outreach “DefeND” campaign during the Governor’s press conference.

Cyber crime is on the rise globally, particularly given the massive shift to telework and e-learning during COVID-19. “In an increasingly connected world, it is important that we empower individuals and organizations to better protect their part of cyberspace at home, work or school, any time on any device,” said Kevin Ford, NDIT Chief Information Security Officer.

This new campaign and website https://defend.nd.gov/ provide information to help North Dakotans understand common threats like phishing and how to defend themselves from cyber-attacks. The overarching message of this year’s theme, ‘If you Connect it, Protect it,’ dives into the importance of keeping connected devices secure from cyber threats. More than ever, connected devices are an integral part of how people communicate and access services essential to their wellbeing. Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to offer guidance on simple security measures that can limit the susceptibility of threats for online interactions.

“If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices; raising community awareness; educating vulnerable audiences, students and family members; or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone,” said Ford.

NDIT has been actively engaged with K-12 and counties to bolster cyber defenses, offering anti-malware at no cost, and recently announced an expanded cybersecurity partnership with the North Dakota University System. For more information about the campaign and tips for online security, visit DefeND.nd.gov You can also follow and use the official hashtag #BeCyberSmart on social media throughout the month.

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About Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, the initiative has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer and more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/ .
 

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C O N T A C T :

Kelly Ivahnenko     |     701-955-3207

krivahnenko@nd.gov

 

Jecca Geffre     |     701-955-0304

jrgeffre@nd.gov