With an increasing number of devices connected to networks, as well as increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, the threat landscape is incredibly broad. In 2003, the US government and various industries collaborated and created Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Each October, the spotlight falls again on keeping your system secure and being secure online. Read on to learn about becoming not just aware, but prepared, all year long.


Benefits of the Awareness Movement


The goal of the collaboration on Cybersecurity Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and to ensure that businesses–including small to medium-size businesses–have the resources to be safer and more secure online. Such resources include educational tools like guides, planners, training modules, and much more, to help your business make cybersecurity awareness a visible part of your organization. Not only do these tools come in different languages, but they can be modified to fit the specific needs of your organization.


Awareness Just the Beginning


While awareness is certainly important, it’s just the beginning of being prepared. A good first step in preparedness is mapping your entire network, finding out every device connected to it and learning whether those devices are secure. Another step is keeping track of the latest threats–phishing emails that can introduce malware to your network, or hacking attacks to take advantage of weak spots in your infrastructure. Evaluating the risks particular to your geographic location is important, though even a low-risk location is still subject to the risks of power outages and the resulting downtime.  And don’t forget assessing the knowledge of your workers, including any weak spots in training. 


Once you have assessed your company’s vulnerability, you can begin to plan. Who will be responsible for which roles, what the first step after a cyberattack, what portions of your network need to be strengthened, all are to be outlined in your cybersecurity plan. Not only that, a training plan should be developed for employees so they will know how to respond.


Employee Training in Cybersecurity


Taking into account the human aspect of cybersecurity is critical. Many data breaches can result from human error. Training in password management is a vital part of helping workers be cyber-smart. Passwords should be unique and hard to guess, not shared with others. Because it can be difficult to think of (and remember) distinctive passwords, password management tools like apps or even technological tools built into the browser or operating systems, are available. A password management plug-in can even ask the user to store a password so that the workers won’t have to memorize numerous passwords. 


Cybersecurity is something not just to be aware of but to actively plan for – a cyber attack could happen anytime. For assistance in developing your plan, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

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