Every October, Findlay’s Computer Science faculty, staff, and students celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month with the community, and this year was no different, other than slight modifications to make celebrations hybrid with Zoom and YouTube Live Streaming.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “These organizations wanted government and industry to work together to make resources available so that businesses would be better prepared for securely working online. With the growth of the Internet in the late 90’s, and the start of business activity online, they wanted people to be aware of how to make their businesses more secure,” said Helen Schneider, associate professor and co-chair of computer science.
UF began an annual Information Assurance Forum in October 2002, so it was easy to celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month when it evolved in 2004. Schneider mentioned, “we wanted our students to be aware of the need to do outreach, that security is not something people know about instinctively. They need to be reminded to do it for their computers, and their data.”
Each year, faculty and staff work with local technology leaders to choose a topic or theme for the Information Assurance forum to focus on. This year’s Forum, held on Oct. 28, was focused on ransomware. Visiting speakers included: Robert Sprague, Treasurer, State of Ohio; Dr. Loren Wagner, Senior Executive, Risk, and Engineering, CentraComm; Dr. Dennis Acuña, Owner and Principal Consultant, Digital GRC LLC; and Jeff Gillmor, Vice President, Client Executive, Hylant.
In regards to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Schneider said, “it’s just like physical safety in other fields. There are safety awareness alerts in business and industry, and the same thought was put behind this. It’s your cyber health and you need to be aware of it.”
For more information on Findlay’s Computer Science Department please visit their webpage.