The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ (STC) National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign now has over 400 partners! The partner organizations – spanning government, non-profits, and academia – are critical to increasing cybersecurity awareness, competency, literacy, and advocacy across the country. This upcoming October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, will mark the Seventh Anniversary of the STC partner program. The Campaign has grown exponentially, gaining an average of 100 partners a year since July 2015.
This achievement is significant; many CEOs consider cyber crime the greatest threat to businesses worldwide, projected to collectively cost companies upwards of $2 trillion by 2019. The WannaCry ransomware attack launched this past May infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. The global cybersecurity workforce gap has been on pace to hit 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022.
This network of partners has become a core component of the nation’s first line of defense to address these threats. These organizations have channeled their passion for creating a safer society into action, educating the public and their stakeholders on cybersecurity issues from ransomware and phishing to online privacy and cyberbullying. DHS and its partners have developed resources, tips, and guides; hosted events; and promoted avenues for professional development. Campaign partners have taken the global cybersecurity workforce gap head on, galvanizing recruitment efforts of cybersecurity workers and highlighting key resources and career paths. By working together and reaching a wide variety of stakeholders, this network of partners in conjunction with DHS is making the nation more resilient to cyber threats.
In approaching this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month beginning October 1, this achievement provides an opportunity to think critically about how to continue to grow and operationalize this partner network and raise the standard for safer online behavior. Organizations and individuals interested in joining the Stop.Think.Connect. partner program can sign up here.