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Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Cooper has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in North Carolina. The initiative is part of a month long campaign by the Department of Information Technology to educate people about cybersecurity threats and ways they can guard against them.

“Data thieves continue to find new ways to try to get to private information from your homes, our business and our governments,” said Eric Boyette, State Chief Information Officer and Secretary of the Department of Information Technology. “Well-meaning people sometimes make this easier by not being careful. This month, we want to try to remind people of some easy ways they can stop data theft.”

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology will sponsor events throughout the month to discuss cybersecurity. The department will also provide tips, tricks, and best practices through its social media sites to help people protect data from cyberattacks.

On Oct. 18-19, DIT and its Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office (ESRMO) will host a cybersecurity symposium at the NC Rural Economic Development Center in Raleigh. The symposium is open to all state and local government employees.

The National Governors Association (NGA) will be in Raleigh on Oct. 23-24 to lead a Cyber Policy Academy. North Carolina is one of just four states selected to participate in the NGA effort. Experts from throughout the country will spend a full day discussing the development of a “disruption response plan” for North Carolina in the event of a cyberattack. They will also discuss updating the state’s cybersecurity and data privacy laws.

“North Carolina is fortunate to have been selected by NGA for this academy,” said Maria Thompson, Chief Risk Officer for the state of North Carolina. “These discussions and plans will help us improve an already strong system for protecting and responding to threats. We hope that our message will carry on long past this month.”

There has also been efforts to make sure companies who are developing things like web applications for their business are making sure they are taking their customers safety into account and are being encouraged to carry out Web Application Penetration Testing before releasing anything as it will allow them to guarantee the security of the app.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month was founded in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the United States Department of Homeland Security. Today, the initiative is worldwide. For more information and for tips and advice about how to be safe online, visit https://www.stopthinkconnect.org/.

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