Posted on: October 27, 2017

When most people think of October, Halloween is the first thing that comes to mind. While the ghosts, witches, and goblins of All Hallow’s Eve are certainly spooky, though, there’s something a whole lot scarier for businesses: cyber attacks. It’s fitting, then, that National Cyber Security Awareness Month takes place in October. As we get close to the end of the month, it’s important to discover what cybersecurity awareness means to your business and how you should acknowledge the event, if you haven’t already. It’s never too late!

What is National Cyber Security Awareness Month?

Often shortened to NCSAM, the National Cyber Security Awareness Month was initiated in October of 2004. During this time, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance came together to enact an awareness program that would allow each and every American to have an understanding of and access to the resources required in order to stay safe and secure online. The initiative caters to people both at the individual level and at the business level. The ultimate goal of the program, stated by Homeland Security, is to “engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.”

What Does NCSAM Mean for Businesses?

It’s important for businesses to acknowledge NCSAM and view it as an opportunity for security improvements. The month of October is the perfect time to review current organizational security measures, pinpoint any problem areas, and strive toward a more secure cyber environment for the enterprise as a whole. Cybersecurity is such a critical topic for American businesses that NCSAM dedicates an entire week of its program to highlighting ways to secure business networks.

With every new catastrophic security breach (Equifax, Deloitte, and Sonic, just to name a few), it becomes ever more apparent that today’s businesses need to take cyber security very seriously. According to NCSAM’s theme for the week of October 9-13 2017, “Cyber Security in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business.” Every member of your organization – no matter what their role – should understand the importance of cybersecurity and should be properly trained and equipped with the ability to adhere to online safety practices at all times. Here are a few tips for making sure that your cybersecurity plan is up to snuff:

  • Evaluate Employee Training – Take a look at your current plans and policies for educating your employees on how to conduct themselves online and in the digital world. Every member of your team should be aware of the importance of secure login credentials, clearance levels, and how to protect sensitive information.
  • Review Mobile Policies – In today’s “BYOD” culture, many businesses are faced with growing concerns and challenges regarding how to protect private company and client information while still allowing user access to the network. This is the time to review and brush up your plan and to take advantage of the latest technologies for cybersecurity.
  • Assess Cloud Security – If, like most businesses, you’ve moved into a cloud architecture, it’s critical that you assess any potential risks associated with your cloud services and take all necessary steps to mitigate those risks.
  • Have a Plan – If you don’t already have a plan in place for what to do in the event of a security breach, now is the time to do so. For tips on how to create a plan, check out our previous post for developing a step-by-step program of action following a breach.

October is, by no means, the only time when cybersecurity should be on your mind, but in honor of NCSAM, we encourage you to really take a good, hard look at your current policies.

Need help brushing up your cybersecurity? The experts at Uncommon Solutions are happy to help. Give us a call to learn more today.