LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)–Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed October 2020 as Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month to encourage state residents, businesses, financial institutions, schools, and others to take the steps necessary to stop cybercriminals.
“Michigan residents, businesses, schools, and organizations are more active online in 2020 than ever before,” Whitmer said. “It is up to all of us to become more aware of the tactics cybercriminals use and the ways we can protect ourselves from becoming a victim of cybercrime.”
Last year in Michigan there were over 6,000 victims of cybercrime, costing Michiganders almost $36 million.
2020 marks the 10th straight year Michigan has recognized October as Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month. To help increase understanding of good cyber hygiene, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB), and the Michigan State Police (MSP) will be educating Michiganders on ways to remain safe and secure online throughout the month of October.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has given cybercriminals more opportunities to step-up their activities,” said State Chief Information Officer Brom Stibitz. “We all need to be more vigilant about securing our web-based interactions by taking some simple steps such as creating strong passwords and changing them regularly. As individuals, we are our first line of defense against cybercrime.”
Michigan will also participate in the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign, a national awareness effort from the National Cyber Security Alliance that aims to increase the understanding of cyber threats and how the American public can be safe and secure online. The theme for this year’s campaign, which was announced earlier this year, is Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.
“With society’s reliance on connected devices in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, cybercrime can pose a very real threat to us all,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “It’s important that individuals and businesses take measures to protect themselves and that law enforcement remains committed to staying current on this ever-evolving criminal landscape.”
On Oct. 7 and 8, the state will host the ninth annual North American International Cyber Summit in a virtual environment. The cyber summit highlights emerging trends in cybersecurity and shares best practices in policy, law, and all manners of public and private interests. Additional event information is available online at michigan.gov/cybersummit.
For Michigan residents interested in learning more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones online, the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at michigan.gov/cybersecurity provides information ranging from how to practice proper cyber hygiene to learning about what to do and who to contact if you are a victim of a cybercrime.