Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is a month of many things. The official welcome of the fall season and the start of the most beloved holidays. Breast Cancer Awareness month and ADD/ADHD awareness month. But I would bet you didn’t know that October is also Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness and Why Does it Get a Month?

Internet security is rapidly becoming a major area of concern. Cyber-attacks and data breaches increase year after year, and according to one study, 93% of company networks can be breached by cybercriminals (betanews.com).

So, cybersecurity awareness month was created and backed by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and National Cyber Security Alliance, to encourage organizations to take responsibility for their role in protecting from cyber-attacks online.

Cybersecurity awareness involves being mindful of your online activity and security every day. There are always dangers to internet browsing and even checking your email that pose a threat to anyone digitally connected to your network. It’s our responsibility to make sure we and everyone around us are aware of the threats and simple practices essential to cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity may sound like a daunting and confusing, jargon-filled topic, but not everyone needs to know what SPF records or DNS cache poisoning are. Simply empowering people with information relevant to their digital activity at home and work goes a long way.

Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Important?

$4.35 million is the estimated cost of a data breach according to IBM, and this number has increased from $3.86 million one year ago. 38% of companies lost business due to a breach, which accounted for over half of the total losses. This is quite the hefty price tag considering how easy it is for bad actors to infiltrate a network.

45% of data breaches occur in the cloud, and 85% of those breaches involve human interaction. This means, due to things like email-delivered malware (which accounted for 94% of breaches in 2021), the most dangerous chink in your cybersecurity armor is likely your employees. With an ever-rising number of cyberattacks each year, the risk of not educating your employees on cybersecurity awareness only continues to grow.

What Do I Need to Know About Cybersecurity?

Phishing

The most common cyber-attacks are phishing emails that ask you for usernames, passwords and personally identifiable information (PII). You have likely seen phishing emails before, offering you a free iPhone or asking you to change your password. While a spam filter will catch some of these, there are still the occasional ones that will make it to your inbox. The best practice is to have strong skepticism whenever an email asks for personal information—especially emails from an unknown sender or a complex and strange email address.

By training your workforce to identify these attacks, you can significantly reduce the risk of a security incident or breach. This can be the difference between an expensive ransomware infection and a message to your IT department that reads, “This email looks suspicious, so I didn’t open it.”

Breaches are Difficult to Identify

In 2022, it took an average of 9 months to identify and contain a breach. However, with proper cybersecurity software and training, that number can be reduced to days or even hours. And considering the majority of the cost associated with a breach come from the time and resources spent containing one, preemptive technology and training are a must for a safe and secure network.

Attacks on Other Companies May Still Affect You

Cyber-attacks can infiltrate any information connected with a company’s network. So even if you’re not the one attacked, any organization or individual you work with puts you at risk. 19% of data breaches occur because of a compromise at a partner organization.

This means you not only need to protect your company from threats, but you also need to have systems in place to protect your data being leaked from other organizations.

What Can I Do to Get Started?

When it comes to cybersecurity awareness, each organization’s needs are as specific as their team. From email protection and user interaction, to AI-driven software that fights for you, holistic cybersecurity awareness and training is vital to create a culture of safe network activity.

The bottom line: even a small investment into cybersecurity awareness training makes a huge difference for your company’s future, and Simpatico is a trusted, industry-leading organization that you can put to work for you. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your business’ cybersecurity needs. Once we understand your company’s unique needs, we will make a plan tailored for you to protect your most important information and assets.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month - Simpatico

Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Simpatico

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