January 3, 2018

NTCA Announces Partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to expand CyberSecurity Education for Small, Rural Telecom Operators

NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association has entered into a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS) to ensure that operators of small, rural telecoms have access to top-of-the-line resources needed for cybersecurity risk-management programs. Some of these resources include educational programming and insights into industry best practices.

NTCA supports and represents nearly 850 community-based telecom organizations that are striving to make a change in some of the smaller areas of the country.

NTCA CyberWise, the association’s new cybersecurity education program, is supported by an award through DHS National Infrastructure Protection Plan Security and Resilience Challenge and the office of Infrastructure Protection, in partnership with NIHS. The challenge provides opportunities for the critical infrastructure community to help develop technology, tools, processes and methods that address immediate needs and strengthen the long-term security and resilience of critical infrastructure.

The four program components are as follows:

  1. Program participants will receive sector-specific guidance and industry best practices focused on the needs of small communications network providers in concert with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) CyberSecurity Framework.
  2. The NTCA CyberSecurity Bundle, a comprehensive guide designed to help telco executives, board officers and operational staff develop a risk-management approach to cybersecurity, will be updated and distributed to program participants for free and available on the NTCA website for a nominal fee.
  3. Three half-day, complimentary educational workshops will be held in conjunction with regional NTCA events this year, featuring detailed training regarding cyber risk assessment and mitigation, threat response and recovery strategies, and how to create and sustain a culture of awareness.
  4. NTCA will develop a recognition program for staff of small telecom companies who have achieved the education needed to serve as a Cyber Risk Manager for their company. To be eligible for recognition, participants must attend one in-person training and two educational webcasts to be offered throughout the year.