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This year’s initiative highlights the importance of empowering individuals and organizations to better protect their part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world

September 25, 2020 — Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. today announced its commitment to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October, by signing up as a Champion andjoininga growing global effort to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy. The Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions Program is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals, committed to this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme of ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’ The program aims to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

“This year’s unprecedented events have shown just how crucial being connected can be,” says Chad Kliewer, Information Security Officer at Pioneer.  “We want to do our part to help everyone stay connected and to do so in a safe and secure way.  There are many dangers on the internet, and it is my goal to make everyone aware of those dangers and not be afraid of them.  If everyone takes personal responsibility for the devices they connect to the internet, it will be safer for all.  Be on the lookout for online safety tips via social media messages from Pioneer and other partners throughout the month of October!”

The overarching message of this year’s theme, ‘If you Connect it, Protect it,’ dives into the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. More than ever before, connected devices have been woven into society as an integral part of how people communicate and access services essential to their well-being. Data collected from these devices can detail highly specific information about a person or business, which can be exploited by bad actors for their personal gain. Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to shed light on these security vulnerabilities, while offering guidance surrounding simple security measures to limit the susceptibility of threats for commonly used devices.

This year, the Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s main weekly focus areas will revolve around:

  • Understanding and following general security hygiene for connected devices and home networks
  • The importance of connected devices security for remote workers
  • How connected devices play a pivotal role in the future of healthcare; and
  • The overall future of connected devices for consumers, professionals and the public domain

If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.

Now in its 17th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need, to stay safer and more secure online. Pioneer is proud to support this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Cybersecurity is important to the success of all businesses and organizations. NCSA is proud to have such a strong and active community helping to encourage proactive behavior and prioritize cybersecurity in their organizations,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, NCSA. For more information about Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/. You can also follow and use the official hashtag #BeCyberSmart on social media throughout the month.

About Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public- and private-sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, the initiative has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer and more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/

About NCSA

NCSA is the Nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AIG; American Express; Bank of America; Cofense; Comcast Corporation; Eli Lilly and Company; ESET North America; Facebook; Intel Corporation; Lenovo; LogMeIn; Marriott International; Mastercard; MediaPro; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; KnowBe4; NortonLifeLock; Proofpoint; Raytheon; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uber: U.S. Bank; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28); STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group with federal government leadership from the Department of Homeland Security; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit https://staysafeonline.org.

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