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cybersecurity best practices
5 min read

Why You Should Care About Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is not just spooky season — it’s also Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Nothing says scary like a data breach in the middle of the night that you don’t have a crisis management plan for. Yikes. 

The idea behind Cybersecurity Awareness Month, according to the White House, is to “highlight the importance of safeguarding our Nation’s critical infrastructure from malicious cyber activity and protecting citizens and businesses from ransomware and other attacks.”

In 2020, the FBI received more than 2,000 internet crime complaints per day. In 2021, there were a record number of attacks on data security. The number of attacks increased 50% from the year before, with the costs of breaches rising almost 10%. According to IBM, healthcare is the industry hit hardest by these breaches, but no business is exempt. 

As the need for data privacy and security become more top of mind for the American public, it’s more important than ever that companies manage their data and security infrastructure and also plan. 

Are You Aware of the Risks?

Cyber attacks can destroy a company’s goodwill with its customer base. Your customers need to trust you to do business with you, so it’s important that you do everything you can to protect their information.

The internet is integral to how we live our lives and how we do business. As the hybrid work model becomes more prevalent and the remote workforce expands, companies face a greater risk of a cyberattack that has massive consequences on their business. What plans do you have in place to mitigate these risks if they come to your front door? 

Cybersecurity CLM

Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best

You never know when a cyberattack will hit. But rather than wait until it strikes, your company should have a plan of action ready to go. While a data breach is bad in and of itself, it balloons into something even worse when your team is unprepared, and lacking a proper incident response plan

An incident response plan is a documented plan of action that outlines how your team will address the events during and after a data incident. If you haven’t already, assign a cross-functional team to be responsible for data breaches and cybersecurity incidents so that the chain of command during a response is clear.

Most importantly, your plan considers how your team will respond to regulators, customers, and the workforce. For some regulations, you have to report an incident within a specified amount of time in order to stay compliant. Even if you can’t avoid the fines, you can avoid the reputational damage that ensues if you don’t have a communication plan. Letting those who are affected know what happened and how you’re working to fix it can go a long way.

Observing Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This month of awareness is important because many companies are still blind to the realities of cybersecurity. Some think the problem might never cross their paths or are too worried about failing to ever consider the preparation needed to protect their business. To be aware is to prepare. How is your business protecting itself and its customers from the event of a cyberattack?

Learn how to build your security incident crisis communications plan in this Gartner article.  

Christina Sullivan is a Content Marketing Manager at LinkSquares.