Cyber Security Month: Are You Helping Raise Awareness?

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security’s October Cyber Security Awareness Month, aiming to raise consumer awareness of cyber risks and safety measures. Whether you’re a small business owner, health care provider, financial services commpany or technology executive, your own awareness of cyber security and data breach prevention is, hopefully, high.

But is the issue equally significant to your customers? And how can you help them be more aware of cyber security, and what they can do about it?

Homeland Security stresses on its website that cyber security is everyone’s job, including law enforcement, government, private sector organizations and the general public. That makes perfect sense, if you think about it; cyber security failures affect us all and cost the American economy billions of dollars every year.

While you take steps to protect your own organization – from implementing a data breach response plan to purchasing cyber insurance – it’s also important to do all you can to foster broader awareness of cyber security. You can help in a number of ways:

  • Start in your own backyard by educating your staff. Of course, training employees on cyber threats and data breach prevention is a key element of your own security measures. While you’re educating them on your organization’s measures, encourage them to look into their own cyber security. Provide information that is useful to them in both their professional and personal lives.
  • If you have a storefront or office where customers visit, consider downloading promotional materials from StaySafeOnline.org and displaying them in your place of business.
  • Use your social media presence to promote the month, including tweeting and blogging about cyber security and data breach prevention.

Send a knowledgeable member of your IT team to a local middle or high school to speak to students about cyber security that’s relevant to them, such as social media safety and how companies like yours work to protect themselves and their customers from cyber risks.
These are just a few ways your business can help raise awareness during October. You’ll find plenty more ideas at StaySafeOnline.org.