Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month https://www.varsitytech.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Cyber-1024x975.jpeg 1024 975 Jenna Chouinard Jenna Chouinard https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/4407054d1eaa67faeb89cdfd9a927ccd?s=96&d=retro&r=g

It’s officially October! While some may be celebrating pumpkin spice flavors and Halloween, we’re celebrating Cybersecurity Awareness Month. At Varsity, we’re raising awareness about cybersecurity and ensuring everyone has the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. As our world becomes more interconnected, we all can do our part to improve our cybersecurity defense. Let this be a month where you focus on improving your security.

History

Since 2004, the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have collaborated to educate businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions about the importance of cybersecurity. What started as a grass roots campaign of simple tips quickly expanded across industries and became more robust.

From 2009 to 2018, the month’s theme was “Our Shared Responsibility” which “reflected the role that we all — from large enterprises to individual computer users — have in securing digital assets.” This expanded to weekly themes to increase awareness on specific cybersecurity topics such as cybercrime, law enforcement, and critical infrastructure. Additionally, leaders from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the White House, and other agencies have launched initiatives to increase cybersecurity awareness across the nation.

Importance

As cybercrimes continue to evolve, it’s important to ensure your defense measures up. A data breach can be expensive and detrimental for business. Cyber-related incidents can lead to loss of revenue, loss of clients, reputation damage, operational disruptions, and compromised data.

The risk of cybersecurity attacks may also leave employees and business leaders feeling stressed and unprepared. In fact, a recent survey by Insight’s Cloud + Data Center Transformation team found that “78% lack confidence in their company’s IT security posture and believe improvements are needed.” Because employees are often the first line of defense against cybercrimes, implementing cybersecurity training is imperative to protect businesses and ensure employee confidence. How strong is your human firewall?

Cybersecurity Tips

While security can be complex and difficult to understand, there are concrete steps your business can take to protect against cybersecurity attacks. There isn’t just one strategy that will work for your business, though — having a layered, multi-faceted approach is best. According to the Identity Management Institute, “layered security seeks to implement multiple mitigating layers of protection so that intruders have to break through many security measures at the same time.”

The most important first step is to develop a cybersecurity strategy based on your organization’s unique risk. The National Cybersecurity Alliance recommends identifying “the ‘crown jewels’ of your business — the data your business would have difficulty operating without and/or the information that could be a high-value target for cybercriminals.” If you need assistance creating your strategy, look no further than Varsity. We give you a framework for cybersecurity, so you can quickly learn what services will give you the best protection. We will focus on meeting your immediate needs while planning ahead for the future.

After assessing your risk and establishing a cybersecurity plan, it’s time to set up your defense. This may include device encryption, anti-ransomware, email security, multi-factor authentication, and cybersecurity training. Varsity offers all of these services – and more! We provide three levels of Managed Security Services depending on your specific needs.

Another important step in your cybersecurity defense is consistent threat monitoring and testing. From networks to the Cloud, continuous, 24/7/365 monitoring may be what your business needs to ensure protection. This will allow you to respond proactively and appropriately if threats arise. Additionally, conducting quarterly or annual penetration tests and vulnerability scans will allow you to stay secure. Secureworks states that both strategies “are powerful tools to monitor and improve an organization’s network environment.” Vulnerability scans provide a valuable picture of potential security weaknesses, while penetration tests can see if any vulnerabilities could be leveraged to gain access to your data. If you’re interested in these services, Varsity can help.

We continue to be passionate about educating small businesses and non-profit organizations about how to stay safer and more secure online. We will work diligently to find the best solution for your needs and budget. Learn more about our managed security services or schedule a call with us to see how we can customize a security solution for you.

Stay tuned for more helpful information, news, and tips this Cybersecurity Awareness Month!