Scott launches Cyber Security Month

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

Scott Air Force Base is recognizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month throughout October with several base events and local school visits.

Since 2004, the Department of Homeland Security has sponsored NCSAM in an effort to educate the public on the importance of cybersecurity.

Breaches in cybersecurity can mean major damage to a person or institution’s finances, privacy, and reputation. On a military installation, protecting the networks is a matter of national security.

“Our target is everybody who touches our network,” said Lt. Col. Eric Trias, Cyberspace Support Squadron Commander and NCSAM chair. “Everyone has a responsibility for protecting our network because one weak link can let an adversary into our network.”

NCSAM’s kickoff event is the Maybin Relay Run, which is scheduled for 7 a.m. Oct. 6.

The relay honors Tech. Sgt. Michael Maybin Jr., who was assigned to the 375th Communications Support Squadron and passed away unexpectedly in 2012.

In addition to the relay, a Cyber Sports Day, an event for communications and cyber units, is set for Oct. 27.

Open to all adults, a cyber capture-the-flag event is scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Midwest Cyber Center.

Hacktober, a free computer hacking competition designed to get middle school and high school students interested in cybersecurity, will take place from 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 21, also at the Midwest Cyber Center.

Capt. Jeremiah Robbins, CYSS Chief, Defensive Cyber Operations and NCSAM co-chair, said, “It’s an event for youth where they can come and try their hand at cyber security skills. It’s a way to foster that cyber security mentality into the generations that have been born immersed in it.”

Closing out the month, the NCSAM banquet is scheduled from 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Scott Event Center. The entire base and local communities are welcome, and invitations will be coming out shortly.

For more information, contact 2nd Lt. Franco Arias at jorge.franco_arias@us.af.mil.

Along with these events, Scott members will visit local schools to help educate students on cybersecurity.

Trias said, “The school visits are going to be fun and educational because we really need to engage and make the digital generations aware of cybersecurity.”

“It’s not just military cybersecurity, but government and commercial services as well because our critical infrastructures, power generation and water plants, are all dependent on good cybersecurity.”

Additionally, booths will be set up at the Base Exchange from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each Wednesday where cyber professionals will demonstrate tips for securing personal information from online threats.

SIGN-UP, REGISTER FOR THESE CYBER EVENTS

·         Relay run: Sign up at https://maybinrun.eventbrite.com. Any unit may form a six-person team and participate in this event;

·         Cyber Capture the Flag: Sign up at https://ncsam-ctf.eventbrite.com;

·         Hacktober competition: Register at https://hacktober.eventbrite.com. Participants need to bring their own laptops for both events; and

·         School visits: Sign up to volunteer at www.ncsamschools.eventbrite.com.