If EVER We Needed Cyber Security Awareness Month...

DENVER, Colo.—In the aftermath of the Equifax breach, Cyber Security Awareness Month this October is more important than ever. The Equifax breach potentially impacted 143 million people in the U.S. (nearly half of the country’s population) and could cause problems for those consumers for years to come.

According to a recent national study, cyber crime impact in 2016 cost the global economy $450 billion. Over 2 billion personal records were stolen worldwide, and in the U.S. alone over 100 million Americans had their medical records stolen*. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to make a dent in those numbers by creating awareness about hackers and their latest techniques, and letting people know how they can protect themselves. Governor John Hickenlooper is doing his part by proclaiming October Cyber Security Awareness month for Colorado (see attached proclamation). The Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is also offering up interviews in critical areas of interest.

How is the State of Colorado protecting your data and personal information? Residents supply their information to the State of Colorado for a variety of programs, licenses, and applications. Our Chief Information Security Officer, Deborah Blyth, can share what the state is doing to keep your data safe.

Detecting and avoiding phishing scams: the latest phishing scams are often spread through invitations to “shared” documents. Businesses are finding that their employees are also getting targeted with specific communications masked as someone they know (“spoofing”).

Keeping your home computer safe: Blyth says use a firewall, scan for viruses, scan for spyware, stay up-to-date… computer updates often fix known vulnerabilities in your computer, educate yourself (use two factor authentication wherever it’s offered, use strong and unique passwords, know what scams to watch out for, stay abreast of latest tech news), secure your home network and mobile connection, and take frequent back-ups. Make sure your most important information is saved somewhere besides your computer.

What are the latest threats? Ransomware is just one of the latest methods being used by cyber criminals. Blyth will give you an up-to-date list of the new attacks to watch for.

Please contact us if you would like to schedule an interview.

*The 2016 number of personal records lost or stolen comes from The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017.

About OIT

The Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) strives to impact the lives of all Coloradans to create a safer, happier and healthier state. OIT works to empower the State of Colorado with flexible technology that will drive sustainable and intelligent business decisions. OIT envisions a future where the end-user experience shapes design, and data analytics transform how state government serves its residents. 

Find OIT online at, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 
Tauna Lockhart, Chief Communications Officer & PIO
303.764.7731 (work)
720.933.9193 (cell)