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Spreading the word: What can you do to support Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

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Cybersecurity risks and protection methods have changed greatly, for both businesses and individuals, since the Department of Homeland Security initiated the first Cybersecurity Awareness Month 11 years ago. New cyber threats emerge constantly, and it’s never been more vital for businesses and their employees to be on guard against cyber intruders.

Hopefully, your organization already takes steps to protect your systems and data, but are you confident that all of your employees are as aware of cybersecurity precautions and policies as they should be? Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and every breach has a ripple effect – the impact of a breach extends far beyond the companies and individuals directly affected by a breach. Cyber attacks drain billions of dollars from the American economy every year. This October, why not join with law enforcement, government and others in the private sector to help raise the awareness of cybersecurity?

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some tips to help your business prevent and prepare for a data breach:

  • Use your online presence to promote awareness. You can download a Cybersecurity Awareness Month banner and post it on your company’s website, write about cybersecurity on your company blog or talk about it via other social media tools, and even update your email signature to remind people of the importance of cybersecurity.
  • In addition to the regular cybersecurity trainings you host throughout the year, schedule a special session that emphasizes helping employees protect their own personal information securely. Be sure to include information on device security, especially if your company permits BYOD among employees.
  • Post promotional materials from StaySafeOnline.org throughout your place of business, including in areas where your customers interact with staff.
  • Review and update your company’s data breach response plan, and purchase cyber insurance if you don’t already have it. If you don’t have a plan yet, get started by downloading our free Response Guide.

Cyber crime isn’t going away; in 2013, the total global direct cost of cyber crime rose $3 billion to $113 billion, even though the total number of reported incidents decreased, according to Symantec’s 2013 Norton Report. During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take the opportunity to help everyone do their best to thwart criminal activity online – it’s an investment that could pay big returns for your company, your employees and your customers.