The Silver Lining In Your Cloud TM

Why Every Month Should Be Cyber Security Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October (National Cyber Security Awareness Month), organizations such as the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have worked to increase awareness of common cyber security issues faced by every American. However, cyber security is a year-round issue—not just something that you have to worry about in October.

The Threat

Companies are increasingly dependent on cloud-based services to remain agile and competitive in the modern world. Cyber-criminals and criminal organizations target businesses of all sizes in search of a way to steal sensitive data and use it for their personal gain.

One only has to look at the list of 2015’s biggest data breaches to have a sobering reminder that no organization is safe from attack—not healthcare providers, banks, credit bureaus, or even the government itself.

In the attack on Anthem, it was estimated that the records of some 80 million people were compromised—an outcome that has resulted in numerous lawsuits being filed against Anthem and its affiliates.

As such attacks prove successful, cyber criminals will only become more determined to breach business security measures. With threats coming in from all over the world, there is a need for every member of your business be aware and educated about cyber security year-round.

What You Can Do to Raise Awareness About Cyber Security in Your Business

There are many things you can do to raise cyber security awareness in your own organization, including:

  • Sharing Cyber Security Awareness Publications.Numerous organizations have worked to create publications to inform the public about critical security issues. The FBI has assembled a page explaining different kinds of cybercrime and their impacts, as well as putting together over a dozen other educational resource.
  • Conducting a Review of Your Cyber Security Practices. When was the last time your company had a thorough audit of its data security? Conducting a review of your information security processes is critical for discovering gaps and assessing how well employees adhere to best practices for protecting information. Plus, knowing that you’re checking adherence to best practices helps motivate others to learn and follow them.
  • Assigning Defined Roles and Responsibilities for Responding to Security Breaches.Every person in your business should know what to do in case of a cyber security emergency. This includes what steps to take following a breach and who to alert to the event. Nobody should be left to wonder what they should do if a breach occurs.
  • Hold Cyber Security Training Sessions. Once a month or so, organize a workshop session with employees to help them understand the principles of security issues such as password/account protection, safe online search habits, and how to handle sensitive records.

While October may have been cyber security awareness month, this is a year-round concern for everyone. Taking the time to review your security and beef it up can be the difference between blocking an attack and being the next data breach headline.