Who knew? October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! This year marks the 10th anniversary of the initiative sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Just in time to commemorate the milestone, this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its expected Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework to help critical infrastructure owners and operators reduce cybersecurity risks in industries such as power generation, transportation and telecommunications. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher encourages organizations to begin reviewing and testing the Preliminary Framework to better inform the version NIST plans to release in February. Once published in the Federal Register, stakeholders will have 45 days to comment.

NIST will hold its 5th Cybersecurity workshop to discuss implementation of the Preliminary Framework on November 14 and 15, 2013, at North Carolina State University. A draft agenda has been released. Those with operational, managerial and policy responsibilities for cybersecurity, technology and/or standards development for critical infrastructure companies are encouraged to attend. Attendance is free but advance registration is required.

I can’t end this blog without mentioning October is more commonly known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. When this blog posts, I will be in route to Phoenix, AZ, to see the play Life in the Cancer Lane, which is a compilation of stories from breast cancer survivors produced by friend, Soror and first-time playwright Barbra Watson Riley. While the disease causes pain all year long, I encourage Smart Grid Legal News readers to take advantage of the platform provided this month to discuss self-care and prevention with those you love.