News: DHS Stop. Think. Connect. – May 2012 Newsletter

Shared via USA.GOV email U.S. (Department of Homeland Security)



· Stop.Think.Connect.™ Encourages Small Businesses to Take Action
· Stop.Think.Connect. Celebrates National Older Americans Month
· Stop.Think.Connect. Minnesota Cyber Tour Summary
· GFIRST Conference to Address a Wide-Range of Cyber Topics
· DHS Spotlight: The Cybersecurity Education Office
· Stop.Think.Connect. Shares Resources on Social Media

Stop.Think.Connect. Encourages Small Businesses to Take Action
National Small Business Week will take place in Washington, D.C. from May 20-26, 2012 to recognize the special impact made by outstanding American entrepreneurs and small business owners since 1963. As part of National Small Business Week, the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign encourages small business to think about cybersecurity and consider steps to protect their companies against cyber threats.

With limited budgets and few or no technical experts on staff, small businesses generally have weak security and can be easy targets for cyber criminals. Visa estimates about 95% of the credit-card data breaches it discovers are on its smallest business customers.

There are several resources available to help small business take action to improve their cybersecurity. The Small Biz Cyber Planner available at was created by the Federal Communications Commission in collaboration with public and private sector partners, including the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cybersecurity Alliance, and the Chamber of Commerce. This easy-to-use, free online tool helps business create a custom cyber security plan that includes various categories, such as network security, website security, payment cards, and incident response and reporting.

The United States Secret Service has Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTF) across the country that bring together Federal, State and local law enforcement as well as prosecutors, private industry, and academia. These task forces concentrate on the prevention, detection, mitigation, and aggressive investigation of attacks on the nation’s financial and critical infrastructures. Local businesses can join their local ECTF, for more information visit

In addition, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) distributes bulletins and alerts for both technical and non-technical users, shares cybersecurity tips, and responds to incident, phishing, and vulnerabilities reports. For more information, visit

Stop.Think.Connect. Celebrates National Older Americans Month

May is National Older Americans Month, a tradition since 1963 that shows our nation’s commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans. This year’s theme, “Never too Old to Play,” encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active, and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

As technology becomes more present in our daily lives, older Americans are increasingly using the Internet to stay engaged. Email, social networking, and personal websites allow us to stay informed and connected with family and friends. The Internet also provides an easy way to shop, plan travel, and manage finances without leaving the comforts of home. However, just like any other public environment, the Internet requires awareness and caution. Many of the crimes that occur in real life are now done – or at least facilitated – through the Internet. Many online scammers target older Americans via emails and websites for charitable donations, dating services, auctions, health care, and prescription medications.

In commemoration of National Older Americans Month, the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign offers the following tips for enjoying the benefits of the Internet while staying safe from cyber fraud and predators. Below are some common sense rules from the real world that apply in the online world:

1) Don’t judge a book by its cover. Cyber criminals hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Don’t communicate or reveal any personal information to strangers online. Personal information includes your name, address, age, phone number, birthday, email address, social security number, and insurance policy numbers – even your doctor’s name.

2) Look before you leap. Don’t enter contests, join clubs, open attachments, or share your personal information for any reason, unless you know you are on a reputable website. Most organizations – banks, charities, universities, companies, etc. – don’t ask for your personal information over the Internet. Beware of requests to update or confirm your personal information.

3) All that glitters is not gold. Be wary of emails offering “free” gifts, prizes, or vacations. These are tricks designed to get you to give up personal information. Personal information can be pieced together to steal identities, money, or credit.

4) A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Once we understand the dangers we face online, we need to tell other people who might not be as cyber savvy. Every Internet user, no matter how young or old, is our nation’s first line of defense against people who might want to do harm. If we all become more aware of who we talk to, what we say, and what we share online, we can all make a big difference.

For a list of common fraud schemes aimed at older Americans, visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Stop.Think.Connect. Minnesota Cyber Tour Summary
The Minnesota Cyber Tour, launched on April 16, 2012, provided a collective, hands-on approach to online safety through interactive presentations, forums, and roundtable discussions. Several senior-level government officials, including White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt and the Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate Suzanne Spaulding joined celebrity personalities to raise cybersecurity awareness among the Twin Cities area.

The Kick-Off event at the Mall of America® included special appearances from Minnesota Vikings player Brandon Fusco (#63), entertainer Goldy Locks, and the interactive, educational program Mad Science. Other notable events included three cybersecurity awareness sessions hosted by the University of Minnesota, and a roundtable discussion at the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. For a complete list of Minnesota Cyber Tour events, click here.

The next Stop.Think.Connect. Cyber Tour will be in Atlanta, Georgia in August, and it will be followed by a Cyber Tour in Omaha, Nebraska in October 2012 as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Please email to get involved in future Cyber Tours.

GFIRST Conference to Address a Wide-Range of Cyber Topics
The Government Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (GFIRST) conference will be held in Atlanta, GA from August 19 – 24, 2012 and provides an opportunity for individuals with varying levels of technical knowledge to increase their understanding of cybersecurity and incident response. US-CERT sponsors the GFIRST conference that is designed to bring together public and private sector leaders serving in non-technical roles as well as information security and incident response practitioners that deal with cyber security issues.

The 2012 GFIRST Conference agenda includes a wide-range of classes addressing topics, such as introduction to control systems security, network security analysts training, and a cyber readiness exercise. The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign will be joining numerous other DHS speakers to participate in panel discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on learning activities. To view the complete agenda or register to attend, please visit

DHS Spotlight: The Cybersecurity Education Office Paving the way—defining the cybersecurity field

When asked broadly about the engineering field, one’s first thought is likely, “Are we talking about Mechanical Engineering? Chemical Engineering? Environmental Engineering? How about Structural Engineering?” However, often people don’t consider cybersecurity as an emerging part of the engineering field. Furthermore, individuals often don’t understand the various professions related to cybersecurity—both within and outside of engineering. For most people, it’s likely they just know that cybersecurity professionals work with computers—and that’s about it.

To increase understanding about the cybersecurity field, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Education Office leads efforts to create a robust national cybersecurity workforce by promoting and fostering interagency coordination on cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. The office also develops education and scholarship programs that help students become able and willing cyber citizens with a drive to pursue cybersecurity careers.

In support of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, the Cybersecurity Education Office collaborates with government, industry, and academia to build and retain a cybersecurity workforce through talent management, workforce planning and professional development strategies, standards, and tools. The office works closely with the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to accomplish these objectives.

To make cybersecurity resources more easily accessible to the public, the Cybersecurity Education Office is developing a National Institute for Cybersecurity Studies portal that will include information about cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development opportunities in one central location.

For more information, please contact Robin “Montana” Williams at
Stop.Think.Connect. Shares Resources on Social Media
1) “Like” the Stop.Think.Connect. Facebook Page at
2) Follow us on the Department of Homeland Security’s Twitter account, @DHSJournal
3) Visit for upcoming forum locations, cybersecurity tips, and new partnerships

Updated: May 16, 2012 — 5:46 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural Missouri, just a few miles from the Big Muddy. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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