Securing Nebraska to help secure our world

October 28, 2023 3:00 am

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Have you ever thought about what you may be doing to secure our world? Think about it. As technology advances, what are you doing to protect yourself from online threat actors and malicious ransomware attacks?

This year at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, we are working to ensure a secure and resilient critical infrastructure for the American people by securing our world. That work starts right here in Nebraska.

Recently, CISA unveiled the “Secure Our World” program, where we plan to help change bad cybersecurity behaviors and begin to shift the needle toward a more cyber-secure population. Simply put, it’s a call to action for you, Nebraska, to secure our world.

Technology is part of everything that makes our modern world go round – from our elections to the office, from financial transactions to our classrooms. In short, we rely on our technology to work when we need it, but the technology that makes our lives easier has also made us more vulnerable to cyber-criminals.

Every journey begins with a few first steps. If Nebraska Examiner readers did these four simple things. it would make America exponentially more secure:

  • Use strong passwords, meaning long, random and unique to each account, and use a password manager to generate them and to save them if possible.
  • Enable multifactor authentication on all accounts that offer it. We need more than a password on our most important accounts, like email, social media and financial accounts.
  • Recognize and report phishing, or as we like to say, think before you click. Be cautious of unsolicited emails or texts or calls asking you for personal information. Resist the urge to click on unknown links or open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Update software regularly. In fact, enable automatic software updates on all devices so the latest security patches are continuously up to date.

For individuals in Nebraska, we want to emphasize the importance of securing personal accounts, offering guidance on personal device safety, safe internet browsing practices, social media usage and protecting personal information online.

In addition, we recognize the significance of protecting our children online. Secure Our World includes support and resources specifically for parents. It provides guidance on implementing parental controls, fostering safe digital habits and ensuring a secure online environment for children.

Small and medium-sized businesses face unique challenges, so we are working to help them Secure Our World by offering tools and resources that can help boost their cybersecurity defenses and minimize the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. This makes their businesses more secure, and it makes customers, employees and our communities safer.

Additionally, CISA is committed to working collaboratively with those on the front lines of elections — state and local governments, election officials, federal partners and private sector partners — to manage risks to the nation’s election infrastructure.

We provide resources on election security for both the public and for election officials at all levels and will remain transparent and agile in our vigorous efforts to protect America’s election infrastructure against new and evolving threats.

At CISA, we often tell anyone who will listen that cybersecurity is a “team sport.” No single agency, organization, business or individual can confront today’s numerous and varied cybersecurity challenges alone. Now more than ever, when it comes to cybersecurity, we must develop relationships with experts across the security spectrum to ensure best practices are implemented by all Americans.

Everyone can take steps today to secure our world. Visit to access even more free cybersecurity resources and tips.

Together we will secure Nebraska and secure our world.

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Phil Kirk
Phil Kirk

Phil Kirk is regional director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, based in Kansas City, Mo., serving Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. He formerly served as the federal preparedness coordinator and national preparedness division director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region 7. Kirk holds a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University.