Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Recognizes Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Friday, October 15th, 2021

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners has recognized that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Now in its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our Nation. Held every October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure everyone in the Nation has the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners are proud to support this important online safety awareness and education initiative, which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The evergreen theme—Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart. —encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity. Throughout the past year and a half, our already virtual world depended even more on the Internet. Organizations like the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and individuals like you moved more online than ever before - to socialize, to conduct business, and to simply have fun. While an increased online presence can be positive, Cybersecurity Awareness Month encourages everyone to take increased ownership of enhanced online activity and the important security practices that come along with it. The virtual safety of our community, and, ultimately, our nation, depends on our personal online safety practices.

“Cybersecurity is important to our organization and we are committed to helping the citizens we serve become more resilient”, said Aaron Kostyu, Director, Information Technology Services. “We should all approach cybersecurity with care in owning, securing and protecting all of our online accounts and information.”

Throughout October, we encourage you to learn these important cybersecurity tips:

Be Cyber Smart: Take simple actions to keep our digital lives secure.

Fight the Phish! Highlight the dangers of phishing attempts—which can lead to ransomware or other malware attacks—and how to report suspicious emails.

Explore. Experience. Share. Celebrate National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education’s (NICE) Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week and the global cybersecurity workforce and highlight how individuals can learn how to become a cybersecurity professional.

Think Cybersecurity First: Explore how cybersecurity and staying safe online is increasingly important as our world continues to operate virtually for so much of work and play.

“The Lowndes County Information Technology department takes the security of your data seriously.  As such we have been working for several years to apply a number of security controls from both the Center for Internet Security (CIS) as well as from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to your county technology environment. We have also endeavored to develop and implement Data Loss Prevention tools and processes as well as to greatly enhance the detection tools and processes used to lower the mean time to detection of a threat”, said Kostyu.

Kostyu went on to say “Lowndes County has made some great strides in the past few years. In 2019, Lowndes County implemented an Information Security Awareness training program for all employees and since that implementation, Lowndes County has reduced its Phish prone percentage from 24.1% to continually less than one percent. Also, our Security Awareness Proficiency Assessment score of 72.5% is nearly 10% above the Industry SAPA score for Medium Government.  This is due in no small part to the support and leadership of our County Commission and the involvement and ownership of our county employees.”

For more information on Cybersecurity Awareness Month visit www.cisa.gov.