Michigan marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Michigan marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Michigan to encourage families and businesses around the state to educate and protect themselves from the evolving threats in the digital world.

According to the FBI, according to the past year, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $181.6 million to cybercriminal activities, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“Since I took office, we have expanded access to reliable high-speed internet to tens of thousands more homes and small businesses, but we must also ensure that everyone accessing the internet has the resources and tools they need to protect their privacy and their data,” Whitmer said in the news release.“This month, take the time to educate yourself and your family about how to remain safe when interacting in the cyber world.”

Whitmer’s proclamation marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Michigan's 12th straight year of October. Throughout the month, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and the Michigan State Police will share information and tips to help Michiganders safely operate online.

Michigan will also participate in the Stop.Think.Connect. The campaign, a national public awareness initiative from the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, aimed to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower the American public to be safer and more secure online during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

“Cybercriminals are becoming more tenacious, and cybercrime continues to increase, making cyber vigilance and awareness even more important,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “You can protect yourself by following simple guidelines like using long, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication, as well as keeping computers and networks updated.”

The Michigan Cyber Command Center was established in 2013 to enhance and protect Michigan’s cybersecurity ecosystem, specifically focusing on prevention, response, and recovery from cyber incidents. The center is responsible for coordinating efforts for emergency response during critical cyber incidents in Michigan. The Cyber Command Center can be reached at 877-MI-Cyber.

On Oct. 27, Michigan will host the 11th annual Michigan Cyber Summit. This in-person event will bring together experts from across the country to discuss the latest cybersecurity trends affecting business, education, information technology, economic development, law enforcement and personal safety. The event will also showcase the final round of the seventh-annual Governor’s High School Cyber Challenge, designed to prepare the next generation of cyber professionals and test Michigan high school students' skills in information technology, computer science, and cybersecurity. The Cyber Summit is open to the public, and registration information is available online at Michigan.gov/Cybersecurity.

Michiganders can also download Michigan Secure, a free mobile app for Michigan residents from DTMB. The app alerts users if their mobile device, tablet, or Chromebook encounters threats, such as a potentially unsecured Wi-Fi network. With each alert, Michigan Secure recommends addressing the threat it detected. Michigan Secure can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. For more information, go online to Michigan.gov/MichiganSecureApp.

Residents can learn more about protecting themselves and their families online on the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at Michigan.gov/Cybersecurity. The website provides information ranging from practising proper cyber “hygiene” to learning what to do if you are a victim of a cybercrime.


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