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October 7, 2014

RE:  October is Cyber Security Month

Dear Mayor:

October is National Cyber Security Month.  Today, Internet technology is infused in our work and personal lives.  Yet, the technology is still young and there are many opportunities for its misuse.  From hackers trying to steal data or disrupt your business activities, to social media users of all ages not understanding the risks to personal privacy and reputation, cyber security is something that affects all of us.

Each year, the country’s technology security organizations join together and designate October as Cyber Security month and urges organizations and the public to become educated about cyber security risks and how to protect themselves from them.

Through the League’s partnership with NJ-GMIS, New Jersey’s organization of government technology leaders, we would like to provide you some resources for your organizations and actions you and your municipality can take to promote cyber security in your community.

The following is an extensive list of actions, resources, and opportunities.  We encourage you to review them and decide what makes sense for you to promote to your organization and your community. 

  1. Take formal, public action to recognize the importance of Cyber Security Month.  This link is to a template proclamation/resolution you can adapt to your needs: WORD or PDF Feel free to post any of this information on your website or Facebook page if you have one.

  2. A number of organizations, including the federal Department of Homeland Security, MS-ISAC (a federally supported partnership of state and local government cyber security managers) and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security has developed information and promotional resources that can be used to meet the needs of your community.  A key element is the “Stop, Think, Connect” program.  Take a look at these websites for information from these organizations, share it with your staff, and see what makes sense for your organization to support or promote:

    • http://www.stcguide.com - this new federally coordinated site has information that covers a wide rage of subjects for the public.  It includes targeted information for different groups, including law enforcement, senior citizen programs, parents, teenagers, and small businesses.  The site for the general public is www.stopthinkconnect.org.

    • www.nj.gov/njinfosecure/awareness/  - this is New Jersey’s InfoSecure website, coordinated by the State’s homeland security and technology agencies.  It links to documents that cover a wide rage of computer technology applications and individual behavior.  Many of them were prepared by MS-ISAC.

    • Find out more about MS-ISAC at http://msisac.cisecurity.org.  Their 2014 Cyber Security Month webpage has material that can be downloaded, emailed, branded with your logo then printed for distribution, and other opportunities.  MS-ISAC is a federally funded research center that provides advice and guidance on cyber security risks, and offers free membership to local governments that manage their own computer networks.  Check out their resources which include calendars, posters, and toolkits at http://msisac.cisecurity.org/resources/toolkit/Oct14/index.cfm 

  3. Provide your employees a primer about cyber security.  Download and forward to all your managers this “Getting Started” pamphlet: http://msisac.cisecurity.org/resources/toolkit/oct13/documents/Getting_Started_Print.pdf

  4. To take another step, take the Cyber Identity quiz.  Anyone can take it to get a sense of their online identity risk: http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/online-identity-risk-calculator 

What else can you do?  You can promote Cyber Security by posting links to some of the material on your website, and if you support them, your Facebook page, and Twitter feeds.  You can also promote the program resources to organizations in your municipality.

NJ-GMIS members are supporting the League with technology sessions at our Annual Conference next month.  And if you have questions about your technology, NJ-GMIS now serves as the League’s technology management support organization; you can contact them with questions at njgmis@njgmis.org.

Finally, if your organization maintains its own computer network, consider joining NJ-GMIS.  It’s the organization for the people that manage local government information technology systems.  It connects your staff to government technologists in New Jersey and around the country with support and resources to help solve technology problems.  More information is available at www.njgmis.org.

We hope you find this information helpful.  And let us know what you do.  Drop NJ-GMIS a note at njgmis@njgmis.org summarizing your activities so we can promote it later.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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