FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 1, 2016  

Team effort to educate public during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

DENVER, Colo.—The numbers are staggering. In 2015 alone, nearly half a billion personal records were stolen or lost due to cybersecurity attacks*. Many of the incidents could have been avoided if the individual user were more educated on cyber security.

October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to make a dent in cyber crime by creating awareness about hackers and their latest techniques, and letting people know how they can protect themselves. Governor John Hickenlooper has proclaimed October Cyber Security Awareness month for Colorado (see attached proclamation).

To support the effort, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is teaming up with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to offer up interviews in critical areas of interest during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We have Information Security team members available educate viewers and readers on the following subjects:

  • Cyber threats to infrastructure: Securing critical infrastructure against growing and evolving cyber threats requires a layered approach. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to prevent, respond to, and coordinate mitigation efforts to protect the nation’s critical cyber and communications networks and infrastructure. Jory Maes is Colorado’s Infrastructure Protection Program Manager with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and can speak to the kinds of threats Colorado is seeing, and what residents and businesses can do to protect themselves. 

  • Detecting and avoiding phishing scams: the latest phishing scams are often spread through invitations to “shared” documents. Businesses are finding that their employees are also getting targeted with specific communications masked as someone they know (“spoofing”). Deborah Blyth, Colorado’s Chief Information Security Officer with the Governor’s Office of Information Technology will tell you what the red flags are and what to do if you fall victim to these attacks. 

  • Keeping your home computer safe: Blyth says use a firewall, scan for viruses, scan for spyware, stay up-to-date… computer updates often fix known vulnerabilities in your computer, educate yourself (use strong passwords, know what scams to watch out for, stay abreast of latest tech news), secure your home network and mobile connection, and take frequent back-ups. Make sure your most important information is saved somewhere besides your computer.

  • What are the latest threats? Spoofing has now spread to social media. Ads on the internet may actually be masked malware. Blyth will give you an up-to-date list of the new attacks to watch for. 
Please contact us if you would like to schedule an interview or if you would like to cover one of our educational presentations to students across the metro area. You can find more resources for cyber security tips at colorado.gov/cybersecurity/help.

*The 2015 number of personal records lost or stolen comes from Symantec Corporation in this report.

About OIT
The Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) strives to impact the lives of all Coloradans to create a safer, happier and healthier state. OIT works to empower the State of Colorado with flexible technology that will drive sustainable and intelligent business decisions. OIT envisions a future where the end-user experience shapes design, and data analytics transform how state government serves its residents. 

Find OIT online at
colorado.gov/oit, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 
Tauna Lockhart, Chief Communications Officer & PIO
303.764.7731 (work) 
720.933.9193 (cell)

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