I know that there a million (literally) pressing and urgent things on the table for everyone this week. Truly. But even as we have a national emergency underway, I have been stunned at the number of phishing attempts that are still coming through our network – while we are seeing so many folks step up for good, the “bad” guys find times of vulnerability an opportunity. Guess it’s always been that way but it feels particularly crummy as we worry so much about those we love during this pandemic.
NTCA thought long and hard about whether or not it was the right time to roll out our new CyberShare program but these attempted hacks and threats to network security only underscored for us the need to give our members another tool in the toolbox to battle those looking to do harm online. Particularly as these rural broadband providers are working overtime to manage their networks – more critical now than ever – as well as manage the networks of others. As so many millions of Americans are now required to work from home, as so many of our students across the country are powering up their online lessons from the kitchen counter and as telemedicine is finally being recognized as the critical tool that it is to provide remote and “contact free” medical care, NTCA member and small operator networks are more essential than ever and the security of those networks needs to be a priority.
CyberShare is a product that NTCA created just for small broadband providers. Based on a pilot program administered by NTCA in 2019 with funding from the National Institute for Hometown Security and the Department of Homeland Security, CyberShare provides high-quality indicators of attacks as well as actionable threat information. The program will offer subscribers a number of critical tools in terms of risk management alerts and news, peer to peer sharing and networking access to experts that small providers might not otherwise have.
CyberShare subscribers have access to daily and weekly reports, in-person and virtual meetings and a secure web platform. Participants, who will be trained, will be part of a trusted community for local and regional telecommunications operators to collaborate and improve their security posture. So top of mind these days!
Given these unusual times, customer networks are also likely to be more vulnerable than they were just a month ago. And that is a frightening thought. Even though I know NTCA members and small operators have so much on their plate right now, NTCA also feels it’s really important to move forward with the CyberShare launch as a way we can help serve our members and their communities. We have a webinar this coming Wednesday, March 25, at 3:00 p.m. ET to share more information on this really valuable product and I encourage you to register. If you have any issues or want more information, please visit www.cyber-share.org or email email@example.com.
So many things to be mindful of…but network security is at the top of the list!