Since 2004, the United States has recognized Cybersecurity Awareness Month every October. Data breaches affecting businesses and customers have become more pervasive in recent years. Companies can take meaningful steps to thwart cyber criminals and protect their customers’ data with greater awareness and resources.


What To Understand About Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Here are some key things business owners and managers need to know about this critical national recognition month.

“See Yourself in Cyber” Is the Theme of This Year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month

There are many components of adequate cybersecurity protection for businesses and individuals. Every year, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) has chosen a theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month that emphasizes several crucial components that should form part of a comprehensive security plan.

This year, the objective theme is a call to action urging people “See Yourself in Cyber.” It prompts individuals to recognize that securing information is not about programming and data control. Instead, online safety is about people. Individuals’ awareness and know-how can make all the difference in staying safe online.

Robust Preventive Protocols Are Essential

CISA calls on companies, governmental organizations, and individuals to take several vital measures to fortify their data and systems against unauthorized access. Simple but targeted precautions are essential to maintaining strong cybersecurity.

  1. Recognize and report phishing attempts to fend off malware and stop identity theft
  2. Perform recommended software updates to ensure continuous protection
  3. Create passwords that are difficult to break 
  4. Enable multi-factor authentication to keep accounts secure

Businesses should ensure their internal policies and procedures are consistent with CISA’s guidelines. They must also ensure that account portals and payment management systems integrate the cybersecurity features that will enable their customers to apply CISA’s recommendations on protecting accounts.


Insurance Can Help Businesses Address Cybersecurity Risks 

Businesses in every sector and scale are subject to staggering threats in their day-to-day activities. High-profile data breaches have affected large corporations, small businesses, and sole proprietors. For large companies, the financial fallout of a breach could be catastrophic. For small companies, mounting a swift and robust response to a breach may be economically and operationally infeasible.

Including cyber insurance in a commercial package of policies can equip any business to mitigate its risk exposure substantially. Coverage benefits may cover costs associated with investigating a security shortfall and restoring system functionality and safety. They could also pay customers notifications when an attack has compromised their personal information. Policy proceeds may also go towards legal costs and money judgments or settlements.

Insurance agents must be ready to field complex client coverage questions, learn about online risks, and evaluate their best options to defend themselves proactively. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time for agents to connect with clients about coverage elections and the efficacy of their individual strategies to prevent breaches.