Homeland Security wants to pick your brains

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In a move which surely smacks of just a touch of desperation, the Department of Homeland Security is asking Joe Public how to best raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity.

"As we develop strategies and messages that will resonate with various groups, we want the benefit of your ideas on how you would get the word out to your colleagues, or your friends, or your parents and children," it says.

As a result, it's holding a competition to come up with the best ideas for making the American public more cyber secure.

The competition brief says entries should "engage the Private Sector and Industry leaders to develop their own campaign strategy and metrics to track how to get a unified cyber security message out to the American public."

They should be quantifiable, be based on Web 2.0 technology and "under no circumstance" generate spam.

Entries should be emailed to cyberchallenge@dhs.gov by the end of April.

The lucky winners will be invited to an event in Washington DC in late May or early June.  They'll get to partner with the department to lead in the planning of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, due to launch in October.

They'll get funding for their idea, but probably no fat consultancy fees.