October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Online Security Steps to Take

You can’t read anything about online security without noting the problem is getting bigger. Ransomware, open-source threats and black hat actors aren’t terms just for the IT guy anymore–they’re real threats coming at your business from online activity.

The cost of threat is also real; industry and media reports indicate that cyber theft will cost the world $6 trillion in U.S. dollars by 2021. That’s the year the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is expected to hit 3.5 million–making it harder to hire experts to keep your company safe.

Compounding all of this is the fact that the human attack surface is expected to reach 4 billion by 2020. Where some see the number of people joining the online community as a greater number of prospects, you’re going to see an increased number of online threats.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was started by both the U.S. government and the Internet community; universities, financial institutions, even Google. The goal is to promote online safety and privacy. For 14 years, both government and industry representatives have used October to bring to the fore the fact that everyone who goes online can take simple measures to protect their digital assets and what to do if they fall prey to a cybercriminal.

Most of the employees you will deal with have some awareness of what to do to stay safe online. Some even have a sense of the difference between ransomware programs seizing data and viruses that will just shut you down.

But we’ve seen time and again what employees can do to wreck even your best security plans. Sometimes it goes beyond phishing to whaling, where a senior employee gives up detailed financial information. Don’t shrug this off; The most recent EY Global Information Security Survey notes careless employees are now the biggest source of a cyberattack.

Teach Good Online Practices Now

Take your cybersecurity awareness to a higher level this October. Use these guidelines to jump-start plans to teach employees secure online habits:

  • Make your policies clear. You’re holding employees to a higher standard, so make sure the rules and consequences are easily understood by everyone from the C-suite to part-time employees and those working from home.
  • Make employees realized they’re susceptible to phishing attacks. When employees get lazy, that’s when the trouble gets compounded. Hold regular trainings to update all teams on the latest phishing attacks and cybersecurity threats. Remember, your workforce can be your first defense or your greatest weakness.
  • Have a clear chain to report trouble. If an employee does open an email that launches a virus in your system, make sure that employee knows what to do and who to report the problem to so it can be quickly contained before it spreads through your network.
  • Get a good partner. You don’t have to do this alone. Dedicated cybersecurity experts are rare and increasingly out-of-reach for most IT departments. Consider a managed services security partner (MSSP) who can help support you and your employees as your business grows online.

As a Fortinet partner, CCSI specializes in helping businesses develop network, endpoint, application, data center, cloud and access security using a strong security fabric that covers the entire attack surface. Our network and physical security services and firewall solutions can help you mitigate risk from data breach, theft or intrusion. Contact us to learn more.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from CCSI authored by CCSI Team. Read the original post at: https://www.ccsinet.com/blog/october-cybersecurity-awareness-month-security-steps/