According to a Splunk report, 88% of organizations are spending more on cybersecurity in 2021. Most of them are implementing advanced techniques, including artificial intelligence, to strengthen their information security. As you prepare for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here’s a look at reasons to ensure data security both offline and online.
Why Is Cybersecurity Critical?
Without proper Information Technology (IT) security fortification, your business remains vulnerable to cyberattacks that keep increasing in frequency and sophistication. Cybersecurity enables you to adequately protect the following assets:
- Business revenue
- Sensitive customer and employee data
- Business secrets belonging to you or your partners, such as vendors or clients
- IT-based services
- Your IT systems
Cyber protection can ensure that most threats are detected and thwarted before causing any damage.
Different Types of Cyberattacks
Here are some major cyber threats you should beware of:
Ransomware (Denial-of-service attack): Hackers can breach, seize your network or encrypt your data and may demand a ransom fee to let you back in.
Malware: These include malicious viruses designed to corrupt data or make systems unusable.
Botnets: DDoS or ransomware spreads across a network of computers.
Scareware: False security warnings display on a business website or online portal to trick users into purchasing a “security fix.”
The Potential Impact of a Cyberattack
A cyberattack may result in:
- Theft and fraudulent use of sensitive employee or customer data
- Business interruption, such as in a distributed denial-of-service attack
- Loss of enterprise data
These data breach issues can affect your business in ways, such as:
- Financial losses from lawsuits or lost business
- Unnecessary expenditure in data/system recovery or replacement
- Reputational damage
- Companies that utilize your IT solutions or interfaces may be breached too
Ways to Strengthen Your Security Strategy
You can fortify your IT security defenses in ways, such as:
- Automating processes, like threat detection and removal, using artificial intelligence
- Incorporating antivirus software and firewalls and updating these tools with the latest malware definitions
- Updating all software, including operating systems, and installing security patches released by your software vendor
- Encrypting devices, including WiFi routers
- Encrypting Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections
Training Employees in Cybersecurity Essentials
You should involve more than just the IT team in your cybersecurity training and awareness programs. Every employee that uses your IT systems, from the receptionist to sales representatives, should be part of this. If necessary, invite cybersecurity experts to help arm your staff with the right skills to combat data breach threats.
Make sure to focus on key IT security issues like:
- Use of strong passwords
- Threat recognition, including how to recognize scams and phishing attempts via email links
Cybersecurity Awareness Month Theme and Schedule for 2021
During this year’s cybersecurity month, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) will be encouraging people and organizations to take up responsibility for their safety online and on other digital platforms. The campaign’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
Engagements and promotions scheduled for the month-long campaign are:
- Week starting October 4: Be Cyber Smart.
- Week starting October 11: Fight the Phish!
- Week starting October 18 (Also the Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week): Experience. Share.
- Week starting October 25: Cybersecurity First
The campaign emphasizes proactive involvement in promoting cybersecurity. You can participate in several ways, including using the hashtag #BeCyberSmart.
Optimal cyber security for any business is important now more than ever, with the recent dramatic increase in potentially devastating cyberattacks. If you need professional guidance in fortifying your company for greater success, engage the team at Economic Development Collaborative in Camarillo, California today. We are happy to provide you with time-tested resources to empower your business.