Cybersecurity Awareness Month
The reality is that every month should be cybersecurity awareness month for any executive – CIO, CEO, decision makers, board members, team leaders, everyone that works remotely, in office, or hybrid – because today’s business is a digital business.
You are no longer able to be a business off the grid and this changed the moment a business took a digital form of payment. Furthermore, it got even more sensitive when businesses began to organize client data on a computer, but even when it was in paper format the data needed protection. Now, things just got more accessible to those who represent a threat to business owners and clients alike.
Every time our founder and CEO, Mike Fitzpatrick speaks to CEOs at cybersecurity summits and conferences he answers one common question: What could I ever have that a cyber criminal would want? His answer is simple: data.
For cybersecurity awareness month and beyond, here are three things to note for your business success.
- Move beyond the idea that your business doesn’t have anything a cybercriminal would want.
- Be cyber ready and resilient to enable business operations to continue even if you are attacked.
- Establish a cybersecurity awareness program that is adaptable for changing times and that meets your company’s specific needs.
The treasure is your data, protect it.
Whether you are a big business or a small business, you hold data.
The data is valuable for cyber criminal activity on the dark web, but also with hacker group agendas, which are sometimes political, sometimes moral, and sometimes just because.
There are plenty of statistics from this year or from the past that quantify data, this is in an effort to help CIOs quantify the costs of a data breach to get the attention of executives and the board.
Year after year, executives and the board need proof of why to invest in cybersecurity. It’s 2021, and the digital era is not going away.
In fact, post-pandemic, it is that much more central to conducting all business. So much so that now there are cloud security assessments because most hybrid and remote workforces are working from the cloud. It wasn’t a choice, which is also why company’s security postures have gone down a notch.
Furthermore, you will notice that emerging threats now involve things such as AWS S3 buckets, which is part of a cloud security assessment (FYI, in case you’re just now learning new parts of the cybersecurity lingo from the past 18 months of adapting to working solely from home due to the pandemic).
This leads us to our second main point for you to always pay attention to: cyber readiness.
To be secure, you must be resilient.
Nobody thought we’d go from working in the office to home and online in such a short time. The pandemic forced everyone to this new reality and every executive did the best they could.
Now that we are settling into the new way of work, cyber resiliency is no longer an only office thing (physical building), even though even pre-pandemic it never was, but we’ll leave that alone for today.
If you are going to secure your business, you want to evaluate every piece of technology and software you use, every device, every network connection, and every type of admin access; not to mention your website, servers, data centers if you use them, and cloud environment.
None of a company’s third-party services typically take responsibility for damages that your business may incur if breach happens to them. It’s typically written in the fine print of terms and conditions to use the software and apps. This is why compliance regulations for every industry include setting up business associate agreements.
Adapting to new ways of doing business has always been a part of a successful executive’s skillset, which is why moving to the cloud and moving to include elements to cybersecurity that are now necessary, such as assessing the cloud environment was possible for every business that made it through the pandemic.
Now, let’s take it one step further and remember the most important part of all successful companies: the people that are a part of the process and procedures and how executives want to ensure they are able to conduct business operations in a way that strengthens cyber resiliency and not the opposite.
Business success always involves everyone on the team.
To get your team onboard is a matter of education and training on cybersecurity. It’s for this reason that your cybersecurity program isn’t only focused on assessments, policies and procedures, and business associate agreements, but also on the people element through cybersecurity awareness training.
However, teaching employees how to spot a phishing email once isn’t going to suffice. You want them to have an ability to put into practice what they learn.
This doesn’t mean having to do quarterly blue team/red team exercises, but it does involve discipline and consistency. This is solely because of how our brains assimilate and then remember how to put into practice information we learn.
Furthermore, since cyber risks change, so does the training that needs to be executed. So, essentially, you are never really done implementing new types of cybersecurity awareness training for your team and overall cybersecurity program.
May this three-step executive guide for cybersecurity awareness month help you to get onboard with more security for your company, and if you need experts on your side to guide you further, reach out.
We’re a call away! Schedule your free cybersecurity consultation.
Photo courtesy of Ollyy