Center for Internet Security Announces More than 7,000 People Sign First Annual Cyber Pledge

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West Virginia and Vermont recognized for having the highest number, highest percentages of citizens who signed the pledge

The Center for Internet Security (CIS), a national not-for-profit dedicated to enhancing cyber security readiness and response, today announced the results of its first Cyber Security Pledge campaign. The pledge was available online during the month of October in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and more than 7,000 individuals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 U.S. territories signed it. The pledge delineated key behaviors for users to protect themselves online, both at home and in the workplace, and also urged citizens to take action by spreading the message of good cyber security practices to friends, co-workers, neighbors and the community.

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), a division of CIS, used the pledge campaign as a contest for state and local governments to encourage broad participation. West Virginia had the most number of citizens who signed pledges, while Vermont had the highest percentage of citizens who signed the pledge. Kanawha County, West Virginia was the local government with the highest number of pledges. The cities of Danville and Charleston, both in West Virginia, tied in the local government category for having the highest percentage of citizens who signed the pledge.

The SANS Institute is providing 250 seats for its “Securing the Human” awareness training to each of the winning states and local governments. The program provides training modules covering a broad range of cyber security topics and can be customized to meet specific organizational needs.

“There are many basic steps all users can take to protect themselves online, and this pledge campaign provided a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness about those steps,” said William Pelgrin, President and CEO of CIS and Chair of the MS-ISAC. “Congratulations to the winning state and local governments for their efforts in getting the message out to their communities, and to everyone who participated. More than 7,000 people pledged their commitment to making a difference by using good practices to stay safe on the Internet. We look forward to expanding the campaign each year so that we can reach as many citizens as possible to collectively strengthen our cyber posture,” said Pelgrin.

“West Virginia has been training its end users and working to raise awareness and accountability within our user community for quite a while, and the results of the Pledge endeavor suggest that our users are very comfortable committing to personal responsibility and “doing the right thing” with respect to information and cyber security, and end-user behavior choices,” said Jim Richards, West Virginia’s Chief Information Security Officer. “West Virginia is pleased and honored to be recognized for the response provided by our user community during the 2011 Pledge challenge.”

“It is very exciting to learn that the highest percentage of citizens who signed the Cyber Pledge is from the State of Vermont,” said Kris Rowley, Vermont’s Chief Information Security Officer. “Getting the word out about cyber security and online safety is so critical. Hackers and social engineers are getting more sophisticated in targeting citizens; it is imperative that people know what to look for and how to protect themselves from the scams and traps. Also, parents need to understand the dangers of social networking sites and other online areas where their children can become potential victims. By learning about cyber security and signing the Cyber Pledge, it reinforces the lessons and helps to defend our citizens, state and nation against the cyber threats that are out there. Cyber security really is our shared responsibility,” said Rowley.

About the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), a division of the national not-for-profit Center for Internet Security, is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation's state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The MS-ISAC 24x7 cyber security operations center provides real-time network monitoring, early cyber threat warnings and advisories, vulnerability identification and mitigation, and incident response. The MS-ISAC coordinates closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through its National Cyber Security Division.

About the Center for Internet Security

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the cyber security readiness and response of public and private sector entities, with a commitment to excellence through collaboration. CIS comprises three divisions: the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Security Benchmarks, and the U. S. Cyber Challenge.


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