October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the United States. Each year, countless individuals and businesses share information to help organizations and individuals better protect valuable data from cybercriminals. Cybersecurity awareness focuses on understanding what threats are present in the digital world and how to take the necessary precautions to prevent these risks from becoming a reality.
What Does Cybersecurity Awareness Mean?
Cybersecurity awareness refers to how much information end users know about cybersecurity threats within their networks and the consequences of these risks. End users pose the biggest threat to computer networks as humans are capable of making mistakes. From creating easy-to-guess passwords to clicking on infected links in emails, there are many ways that humans can leave themselves vulnerable to cybercrimes. Businesses are at great risk for cybersecurity issues due to the amount of sensitive information that they store in their systems.
Cybersecurity awareness encompasses a number of elements to help keep businesses and the data they store safe. This often involves implementing programs to educate employees, auditing IT security systems, and enforcing individual responsibility for company security policies. Businesses should also take the time to create and share security measures that hold employees accountable for their actions and determine the effectiveness of existing security measures.
Why Is Cybersecurity Awareness Important?
Many businesses underestimate the importance of cybersecurity awareness. Because cybercrimes are more prevalent than ever before, businesses must take extra precautions to safeguard their private information. Those extra precautions include cyber risk assessments to determine if the proper measures are being taken for maximum protection. Cybersecurity awareness is an essential component of any organization’s overall cybersecurity program and should include regular and varied training for employees to keep them up to speed on the company’s latest IT security policies, procedures, and best practices.
Cybersecurity awareness is not only important for a company’s reputation but can also have significant cost savings. The damages that follow a cyber-related incident can be costly. Businesses that fall victim to cyberattacks face lost revenue, damaged reputations, loss of clients, possible lawsuits, operational disruptions, and the loss of intellectual property.
Cyber Crime Is Not Going Away
Cyber crime is on the rise. According to a 2019 MidYear Quickview Data Breach Report conducted by RiskBased Security, there were 3,813 breaches in the United States through June 30th that exposed more than 4.1 billion records. Today’s criminals have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out highly successful attacks on unsuspecting people and businesses. Cybersecurity awareness helps make people more aware of the seriousness of cybercrimes and can provide strategies for reducing the number of occurrences.
Data Protection Is A Group Effort
With so much sensitive information stored in computer systems, it has become all too easy for cybercriminals to find vulnerabilities they can breach to steal valuable information. Factors such as disgruntled employees, cloud applications, and mobile devices contribute to data security risks, and it is up to all employees to protect sensitive data. It is important to think of data protection as a group effort in which everyone plays a vital role. When managed appropriately, security can give a business a competitive advantage and can even drive up an organization’s market position.
How Can Companies Help Their Employees Be More Cyber Aware?
With the steady rise of cybercrimes, businesses must make the extra effort to help their employees become more cyber aware through strong leadership. Many businesses choose to create a security awareness program that can be used to evaluate the threat landscape of a company and identify its top risks. When providing training to employees, be sure to focus on high-risk groups. While all users are susceptible to cyber-related incidents, certain employees possess a higher threat profile than others, such as new employees or finance departments who may be frequently targeted.
Speak With The Cybersecurity Experts At Hartman Today
Creating a work culture around cybersecurity awareness does not necessarily eradicate the risk of system breaches or data thefts. However, becoming more familiar with cybersecurity threats can help reduce the likelihood of these events. Having a data recovery strategy in place can help ensure that a business is protected in the event that a cybercriminal is able to infiltrate a system. Employees should be clear on the strategy and empowered to play a role in preventing outside attacks. To learn more about cybersecurity awareness or to speak with an experienced cybersecurity professional, contact the experts at Hartman Executive Advisors.