Security group expands awareness campaign following White House announcement

 

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The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) says it plans to expand educational programming conveying the importance of multi-tiered verification in cyber security, including expansion of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.

The announcement comes following a comprehensive plan announced by the White House aimed at enhancing cyber security. Dubbed the Cyberscurity National Action Plan (CNAP), President Obama’s proposed budget invests more than $19 billion for cyber security in 2017, including a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund, and $62 million in cyber security personnel.

“The National Cyber Security Alliance applauds President Obama’s dedication to the importance of cyber security awareness and education. We live in a digital age where people, networks and devices are increasingly interconnected, and everyone needs to use the Internet safely and more securely,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director, in a press release. “The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign provides the first, basic step for all digital citizens. STOP to make sure security measures are in place. THINK about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online. CONNECT and enjoy your devices with more peace of mind.”

Multi-factor authentication requires the user to complete multiple steps to secure access to online information, such as  enter two or more “passwords,” or perhaps having a confirmation code texted to their previously registered mobile device.  This approach is more successful at combating cyber theft and fraud as it increases the number of variables needed to access an account. It also gives peace of mind to users who know their account will be monitored more closely.

NCSA’s STOP. THINK. CONNECT. expansion adds to the significant domestic cyber security investment already underway, as the White House’s announcement of CNAP is just one of many new tactics to combat cyber threats nationwide. Earlier this month, The National Guard announced the creation of 13 new cyber security defense teams, and The Department of Homeland Security is also increasing the number of Federal civilian cyber defense teams to a total of 48 units.

The President is also “calling on Americans to move beyond just the password to leverage multiple factors of authentication when logging-in to online accounts,” according to a White House fact sheet announcing CNAP. The same release also noted that the Federal Government is also accelerating adoption of multi-factor authentication and identity proofing for citizen-facing digital services, including looking at reducing the use of social security numbers as a form of digital identification.

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