What is National Computer Security Day?
National Computer Security Day demands our attention every November 30 because cyber security affects everything from where we bank and how we spend our money to who we elect to public office. We certainly don’t want a replay of MyDoom, the worst email virus in history, which caused $38.5 billion in damage, so let’s get educated on staying safe online!
National Computer Security Day History
It seems like everyday we hear about breaches in cyber security. Keeping people and companies safe online is a top priority all over the world. It’s something that stays uppermost in our minds on National Computer Security Day. The story of National Computer Security Day is an interesting one.
On November 2, 1988, Cornell University researchers uncovered an unknown virus lurking in their computer systems. Within four hours of discovery, the “Morris worm” virus invaded several other university systems as well as the ARPANET, an early version of today’s internet.
Six days later, two computer experts with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recommended assembling a “National Computer Infection Action Team” (NCAT) to respond 24/7, 365 to these kinds of attacks. On November 14, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a research center connected with Carnegie Mellon University, set up the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
In 1988, the National Computer Security Day sprang out of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Security, Audit, and Control as a way to raise awareness about cyber crimes and viruses. According to a 2004 “Networld” article, “November 30 was chosen for CSD so that attention on computer security would remain high during the holiday season – when people are typically more focused on the busy shopping season than thwarting security threats.” By 2003, CERT and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security joined forces to create the National Cyber Awareness System.
Whether we’re talking about National Computer Security Day or National Cybersecurity Awareness Month also in October, the goals are essentially the same. Each person must be proactive to protect their online security. Use this month to find out all you can about common sense ways to stay safe in cyberspace.