Gov. Ernie Fletcher encouraged Kentucky’s Internet users to educate themselves about safe online practices and declared the month of October as “Cyber Security Awareness Month” in the commonwealth. Cyber Security Awareness Month is a nationwide effort aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of cyber security and crimes issues, so that users may take precautions to avoid these threats on the Internet.
“Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security and empower Kentuckians to protect themselves online,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “The scope and impact of existing and emerging online threats requires an ongoing partnership between government, businesses, schools and consumers. Working together, we can make the Internet safer for everyone.”
The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) and Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) partnered together on the state level with a common goal to educate the public and provide tools to help them engage in safe online activity. Throughout the month of October, KOHS and COT worked to spread the word about online safety by providing tips and resources designed specifically for home users, small businesses and the education community.
Citizens may find out more information by visiting www.staysafeonline.org. While at the site, Kentuckians may view the national public service announcement entitled “Stop, Think, Click,” which urges consumers to protect their valuable personal data through a variety of online best practices.
Businesses may also find information by visiting the state’s Protect Your Business program Web site, www.ProtectYourBusiness.ky.gov.
“Cyber Security Awareness Month is a great time to raise Kentuckians’ awareness of the importance of protecting themselves while using the Internet,” said Mark Rutledge, Commissioner of COT. “COT, Gov. Ernie Fletcher and KOHS share the goal of providing information about safe online behaviors and practices in a way that will appropriately address the increasing use of the Internet across our state. Because of the Prescription for Innovation, Kentucky’s businesses and families are relying on computers and the Internet more than ever for economic gain and educational instruction. It’s vitally important that we adopt good security practices to ensure that Kentuckians’ use of the Internet is as safe as possible.”
(Ret) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, executive director of KOHS, added, “Cyber Security Awareness Month is an important forum to educate the public on cyber-related threats and demonstrate how Internet users can empower themselves to beat the cyber criminals by practicing better security at home and in the office.”
Cyber-crime statistics in the U.S.:
- Total cyber crime losses in 2005 were $130.1 million; the majority of the losses were due to viruses, unauthorized access to computer systems and theft of propriety information.
CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey, October 2005
- Computer security threats, including viruses, worms and Trojan horses were up 48 percent in 2005 from the previous year.
Sophos, January 2006
- Sixty-three percent more computers were infested with malicious code--i.e. spyware, adware, etc.--in the first six months of 2005 than all of 2004.
McAfee, August 2005
- U.S. users land on malicious Web sites about 285 million times per month by clicking on results from the five major search engines.
McAfee Inc., May 2006
The KOHS has been charged by Gov. Fletcher to lead the commonwealth's coordination and collaboration efforts with public and private preparedness partners to ensure Kentucky is ready and prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov.