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Rep. Clarke Recognizes National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement recognizing October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month:

“The goal of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to show everyday Internet users that by taking simple steps, they can safeguard themselves from the latest online threats and respond to potential cyber crime incidents.

“I commend the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and their partners for sponsoring National Cyber Security Awareness Month again this year.

“This year, the theme of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is “Our Shared Responsibility”. Ultimately, our cyber infrastructure is only as strong as the weakest link. In this digital age, we are all connected. No individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for cyber security. Everyone must make sure to employ safe and secure computing practices. We all need to understand how our individual online computing practices have a collective impact on our nation’s cyber security.

“Cyber security vulnerabilities can significantly impact our national and economic security. Cyber warfare and cyber crime are increasing in sophistication and frequency every day. The Department of Homeland Security logged 5,499 such cyber attack incidents in 2008 – a 40 percent increase over the previous year. A 2007 Government Accountability Office report estimates the total U.S. business losses due to cyber attacks exceed $117.5 billion per year. A 2009 Consumer Reports study found that over the past two years, one in five online consumers has been a victim of cyber crime. Attacks on our federal government networks this summer served as a recent reminder that we must remain vigilant in combating cyber incidents.

“Through the help of the Obama Administration, cyber security is finally gaining the much needed attention it deserves both in the federal government and the private sector. The White House’s Cyberspace Policy Review, published this May, recommends that the government initiate a national public awareness and education campaign to promote cyber security. The President will soon name a National Cyber Security Coordinator, the first such White House post.

“As Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology, I am doing my part to oversee government’s role in securing cyberspace. Earlier this year I held a series of hearings on our nation’s cyber security posture and the various vulnerabilities in our critical information infrastructure. This month I will host a series of events geared to educate Hill staff on this important national and economic security issue.”