Stacie Alboum, Deputy Director of CIT, recently spoke with Government Matters about cyber safety and how NIH’s culture is key to improving cybersecurity practices.
In the interview, Alboum highlights how NIH will be changing the way we approach cyber safety at all levels. "As the [cybersecurity] threats are increasing, so does our risk exposure. We need a more strategic and sustainable approach; that's where Optimize NIH IT Security comes in."
The Optimize NIH IT Security initiative is a trans-NIH enterprise-wide plan on how to best protect the NIH community and its research. Alboum co-leads this initiative with Patrick Shirdon, Executive Officer at the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
One important component of the Optimize NIH IT Security initiative is NIH’s Cyber Safety Awareness campaign, which will “crowdsource ideas from all staff about how we can help the NIH community learn about cyber safety behaviors,” said Alboum. This campaign aims to:
- Raise awareness of real-life, cyber-related risks to our organization and how NIH is affected when cyber safety is not prioritized.
- Integrate cyber-safe behaviors into everyone’s roles to enable a community approach across NIH.
- Inspire NIH staff to fully embrace the value of cyber-safe behaviors and practice them on a day-to-day basis.
With this campaign, the agency works to make the advancement of cyber safety a top organizational priority, which safeguards our mission, research, and patients at NIH. “Cybersecurity is not the sole responsibility of IT staff, but a concern of the entire NIH community,” Alboum explained. “The goal of what we’re trying to do here is quite simple—to protect our people and our science.”