October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Also referred to as NCSAM. Originating in America in 2004, the aim of NCSAM was to ensure that Americans had the resources needed to stay safe online.
Today, given the rise of cybercrime and businesses suffering cyber-attacks, cyber security is something that needs to be on the minds of all individuals and businesses. Figures suggest that as many as 55% of UK businesses have been the target of cybercrime just this year. A 15% increase on the previous year.
Could your business recover if you were to be victim of a cyber-attack? Business recovery following a cyber-attack can be a difficult and prolonged effort. Impacting all areas of your business. Whist this is an large scale example, it is clear to see how a cyber-attack could quickly cause havoc within a business.
What can you do this Cyber Security Month to boost your businesses defences against cybercrime?
Acknowledge the risk
Firstly, and most importantly, as a business you must acknowledge that you are at risk. In fact, some sources suggest that SME’s could be more at risk than large corporations. Cyber criminals may assume that smaller businesses do not have the resources to put in place robust cyber security defences. Therefore, making SME’s an attractive target.
So, if cybercrime isn’t on your businesses risk agenda, change that this month.
Review your cyber security strategy
It is also thought today that cybercrime is not a possibility it is an inevitability. So, you must ensure that you have a cyber security strategy in place. This strategy must be taken seriously by all levels of your business as well – not just by your IT department. It must also be updated regularly to account for emerging cyber security techniques. Equally learning from the mistakes of others can help boost your own strategy. So do your research and stay up to date with any emerging threats.
Check your current security levels
Having the best cyber security strategy in place won’t help you if you have any weaknesses in your current network setup. So, this cyber security month it’s worth carrying out a health check of your current set up and identifying if you do have any security issues.
If you do not have the resources internally then you may want to consider investing in cyber security expertise. The costs may well outweigh the business recovery expenses you face if you do fall victim to an attack.
Increase your employee awareness
Many cyber-attacks target employees and the possibility of human error – this could be a phishing email, spoofing emails, use of poor passwords, or a data or access request. An employee simply clicking a malicious link in an email can have a devastating business impact.
Train your staff and make sure they are aware of your cyber security policies. Also ensure that they have the confidence to speak up if something doesn’t seem right.
Consider Cyber Insurance
Despite the increasing risk of cybercrime, it is thought that only 11% of businesses have a specific cyber liability insurance policy in place.
Cyber insurance can help with business recovery following a cyber-attack in areas such as business interruption, costs of a privacy breach, damage caused by hackers, extortion cost and support following an attack
Whilst cybercrime should be on your business’s agenda year-round, why not use this October, Cyber Security Awareness month, as a reason to raise the issue up across your business and highlight any concerns that you may have with your businesses ability to withstand a cyber-attack.