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October 9, 2015 – Because we now live in a more interconnected world than ever before, it is important that people are aware of how integrated our global community is and, more importantly, how big a role the Internet plays in everyone’s lives,

To that end, cybersecurity is more important than ever. President Obama has designated October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The schedule of themes and keystone events for the month can be found on the Cybersecurity Awareness page of the Department of Homeland Security’s website dedicated to the event.

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of information systems from theft or damage to the hardware, software, and any information therein. According to the DHS, cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards such as disruption or denial of service (DDoS) Attacks, Brute Force attacks, hacking, holding a computer system (or a website) for ransom using direct hack or ransomware, worms, viruses, Trojans, and more.

Late last month, the DHS awarded a five-year, $1 billion cybersecurity contract to Raytheon, a major American defense contractor specializing in weapons, military, and commercial electronics and which has invested heavily in cybersecurity, in the hopes of shoring up the federal government’s defenses against the increasing onslaught of cyberattacks wreaking havoc in the United States. The contract is one of the largest civilian cybersecurity orders in years, according to the Washington Post, and will help more than 100 federal civilian agencies to protect their networks against malicious hackers.

This news is a breath of fresh air following the large-scale cyberattacks against the United States from Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia in the last year along, which are particularly rattling to the American public following the attacks on retailers such as Target and Walmart in the past few years.

In a statement announcing the contract Monday, Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Dulles, Va.-based intelligence, information and services business, said that cyber incidents have increased an average of 66% a year between 2009 and 2014.

The Raytheon contract and the protections that the company can afford the U.S. government are increasingly important in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), where everything is connected to the web. 

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