October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month: How Secure Are You?

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It’s the perfect time to stop and reevaluate how prepared your personal and company information is for a cybersecurity attack. Does your organization put security as a top priority? The National Cyber Security Alliance joined up with McAfee to conduct a survey on 1,000 adults nationwide from August 31, 2012 to September 3, 2012 regarding cybersecurity behaviors and perceptions, and the results are astounding.

Survey Statistics and Highlights

General Cybersecurity Preparedness

  • 90% Agree that a safe and secure Internet is crucial to our nation’s economic security
  • 90% At the same time, an equal amount of Americans do not feel completely safe from viruses, malware, and hackers while on the Internet
  • 41% Respondents are most concerned about identity theft while on the Internet

Cyber Victims

  • 17% Have been the victim of a crime that was committed over the Internet such as identity theft, data theft, bullying, or auction fraud

Those Employed

  • 48% Were allowed to use a personal tablet, smartphone, or laptop to perform job functions
  • 42% Employed respondents say their employer has a formal policy, training, or security requirement they must follow
  • 44%  Employed respondents said their employers do not have guidelines, nor do they provide Internet safety training
  • 59 % Say that their job is dependent on a safe and secure Internet
  • 78% Say that losing Internet access at their job for 48 consecutive hours during a regular business week would be disruptive

How Americans Connect

  • 30% Respondents think that connecting to an unsecured wireless network puts them most at risk of a cyber crime or loss of personal information
  • 22% Do not have any or enough security software

Smartphones / Mobiles

  • 64% Feel their smartphones are safe from hackers, malware, or other cybercrimes
  • 29% Do not feel their smartphones are safe
  • 64% Have never installed security software or apps on their device in order to make it more secure from viruses or malware.
  • 69% Concerned about the basic security of their smartphone, tablet, or laptop and what could happen if it gets lost

Do You Have a Cyber Security Plan in Place?

The thought of a cyber security plan seems very extensive and time consuming but with threats from hackers on the rise, taking measures to keep your company assets safe is a vital action to take. Creating policies and procedures is the best place to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Policies and Procedures

  • This starts at the top with key stakeholders and partners for buy-in
  • Start with something simple such as using strong passwords
  • Inform employees of the policy
  • Follow up with employees to make sure the policy is being carried out and make sure they are aware of updates to the policy
  • Document all policies so that they are easy to reference and everyone stays on the same page
  • Speak up! If something doesn’t seem right or you think an attack has occurred, inform your IT department
  • The right software and equipment needs to be in place to create control on how information is transmitted and stored

Have a plan in place to protect your company’s network and data. Your best effort against defense is with a strong policy that is enforced and carried out to ensure your employees are educated and trained on the policies and procedures that are in place for your organization. Stay safe, be prepared!

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