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Cybersecurity Awareness Month logo, featuring a digital shield designOctober is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and ITS and the Information Security Office are celebrating all month long with activities, events and resources. Learn how to protect yourself and the University, online — and have some fun doing it.

Founded in 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held each October, is the world’s foremost initiative promoting cybersecurity awareness and best practices. Businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities — like UNC-Chapel Hill — all celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month as part of keeping our communities cyber-safe.

Event schedule

Join us for these Cybersecurity Awareness Month events (scroll or click to jump to more event details):

And throughout the month, experts from the Information Security Office will share tips and security news at Safe Computing at UNC, here on ITS News, on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

October 2: Visit our security tent in Polk Place

Swing by the security tent in Polk Place on October 2 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Event highlights include:

  • Free pizza and cookies at noon
  • Hands-on lockpicking
  • “Evil” Wi-Fi demonstration
  • Swag and giveaways
  • Data@Rest podcast
  • Careers in cybersecurity
  • Online capture the flag competition kickoff

This event is co-hosted by the Information Security Office, the ITS Service Desk and School of Medicine IT.

October 2 – 6: Online capture the flag competition

See how your cyber skills stack up against your peers in an online capture the flag competition!

Capture the flag is a cybersecurity game where competitors win points by solving cybersecurity challenges. When competitors solve a challenge, they reveal the “flag” — in this case, a small bit of text. The more challenges competitors solve, the more flags they capture, the more points they score.

Access the challenge between October 2 and October 6 and see how high you can place on the leaderboard. The top three contestants win prizes!

Note that this link will be active only while the challenge is open.

October 13: “Hacking Your Brain for Better Cybersecurity” webinar

George Finney
George Finney, Southern Methodist University

Join the Information Security Office for a free webinar, “Hacking Your Brain for Better Cybersecurity,” on Friday, October 13, at 11 a.m. Registration is required.

George Finney, best-selling author and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Southern Methodist University will lead the presentation. According to Finney, many of us are conditioned to believe that being secure relies on being cynical. In his award-winning book, “Well Aware,” Finney demonstrates that the opposite is true. He proves we can hack our own brain’s “habit loop” to make being more secure easy.

In this webinar, Finney will help attendees find their own top internal and external cybersecurity strengths and understand how habits play a role in being more secure. Then, he will share a roadmap for using the science behind habits to make security possible for anyone.

October 23: “Current and Future Challenges in Cybersecurity” panel

The final event for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month will be a virtual panel discussion on Monday, October 23, at 11 a.m. Registration is required.

The panel will feature Michael Tran Duff, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Data Privacy Officer at Harvard University; Allison Henry, CISO at University of California, Berkeley; and Jeremy Rosenberg, CISO of Yale University.

Michael Tran Duff
Michael Tran Duff, Harvard University
Allison Henry
Allison Henry, University of California, Berkeley
Jeremy Rosenberg
Jeremy Rosenberg, Yale University

The panel will reflect on current and emerging challenges in cybersecurity, touching on topics at the personal, institutional and societal level. Has cybersecurity made headway in making the technical underpinnings of society safer, or are we fighting tomorrow’s battles with yesterday’s methods? How does anyone keep up with the emerging threats and creative new uses of technology? What’s likely to stay the same and what’s changing in how we think about and respond to cyber risks?

About Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage, educate and motivate. In October 2004, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the month as a time to raise awareness about cybersecurity to increase the nation’s resiliency in case of a cyber incident. For two decades, organizations large and small have come together to celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The grassroots movement has become a united effort towards supporting a safer and more resilient cyberspace.


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