Taking Steps Toward a Culture of Awareness: Why Cybersecurity Matters

October 29, 2015//Ellen Neveux

Last Updated: October 12, 2020

The chances are very good that your enterprise will be targeted for a data breach one day soon – if it hasn’t been already. Are you prepared?

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month. Every few weeks there is breaking news of the next big hack and resulting data loss. Stealthy and sophisticated international groups – often backed by foreign governments – are causing huge damage to American businesses.

The Ponemon Institute offers these sobering points in its annual benchmark study:

  • The cost of a data breach, per record, is increasing: This year, companies paid an average of $217 per compromised record.
  • The organizational costs of a breach are increasing: The total average organizational cost of a data breach to business in 2015 is more than $6 million.
  • Malicious attacks are on the rise: Almost 50 percent of data loss occurs due to criminal or malicious attack.

Our company delivers secure software solutions to more than 30,000 organizations around the world. We understand the importance of reducing vendor risk and increasing the security of your enterprise IT.

Is your company secure enough?

Most companies have some data protection in place. But is it enough? Consider these resources to create—and maintain—a culture of cybersecurity in your workplace:

NIST:

    • Through an

Executive Order

    • signed by President Obama in 2013, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created a Framework of guidelines and standards for voluntary adoption by businesses of any size. The

Framework

    • is intended to help businesses evaluate their infrastructure to identify unique threats and manage risk. The key checkpoints include:
    • Identify risks
    • Protect assets and infrastructure
    • Detect risk, threat, or attack
    • Respond to attack
    • Recover from attack

The Framework is not a one-size-fits-all guidance document. It can be used for assessment, for strategic planning, or for best practices across industry and regulatory environments.

In a July update on the Framework, NIST Director Willie E. May noted, “We see companies like Intel, Chevron, Walgreens, Pepco, Apple, QVC, and the Bank of America talking about how they are using the Framework or planning to incorporate it. But we also see 50-person firms, like Silver Star Communications in rural Wyoming, describing how the Framework has helped them to be more thoughtful and wiser managers of their cyber risks.”

Business Security Guide: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a ten-point primer to businesses to raise awareness and help IT personnel identify risk, develop secure remote access, and use best practices around new products and service providers. The FTC also offers guidance for securing personal information in the workplace, including information on electronic and physical security.

RE: Cyber: The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Business Executives for National Security (BENS) are partners in the RE: Cyber initiative to help executives and board members obtain tools to assess and manage cybersecurity risks top-down. RE: Cyber offers a platform of resources including risk assessment for the C-suite, information on cyber regulation and policy, and tips on creating a culture of awareness in the workplace, among others. Other topics include keeping a clean machine, good password hygiene, and the vulnerabilities of traveling abroad with electronic devices.

Proactive cybersecurity measures are needed at every level of your organization. Make sure detection and readiness plans are in place if your company is targeted for a cyber attack.

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