Week 2 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is here, and this week we’re highlighting the importance of creating a culture of cybersecurity from the break room to the boardroom of any organization. In today’s cybersecurity landscape, it is more important than ever before for businesses to prepare for and know how to respond to cyber incidents. Every organization needs a plan for employee education, training and awareness that emphasizes risk management, resistance and resilience.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) often refers to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework when discussing how an organization can proactively protect its customers, employees and intellectual property – and by extension their reputation and success. Take these steps outlined in the framework to address cyber threats at your organization (and check out our infographic on cybersecurity in the workplace!):
- Identify: Take inventory of your most valuable assets – the “crown jewels” that are of greatest importance to your business and would be most valuable to criminals, such as employee, customer and payment data.
- Protect: Assess what protective measures you need to have in place to be as defended as possible against a cyber incident.
- Detect: Have systems in place that would alert you if an incident occurs, including the ability for employees to report problems.
- Respond: Make and practice an incidence response plan to contain an attack and maintain business operations in the short term.
- Recover: Know what to do to return to normal business operations after an incident or breach, including assessing any legal obligations.
NCSA is officially launching the CyberSecure My Business project this week. CyberSecure My Business is a comprehensive national program to help businesses of all sizes learn to be safer and more secure online. As the cornerstone of the program, NCSA has translated the NIST Cybersecurity Framework into simpler language and incorporated it into an introductory-level, in-person, highly interactive workshop and series of webinars. The series – hosted in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – provides guidance on integrating cybersecurity practices, using a simplified version of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and incorporating content from federal and industry partners, including recent threat data.
We have many additional exciting things coming up this week, and we hope you’ll join! This morning (Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 8:30 a.m. EDT), the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is hosting an event in partnership with NCSA and the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss what the electric sector is doing in cybersecurity to help ensure affordable, reliable and resilient electricity for the nation. The day’s discussions will include information on new programs available to assist smaller utilities in improving their cybersecurity capabilities. The event will also be livestreamed here. On Friday, Oct. 13, the FIDO Alliance, NCSA and the Electronic Transactions Association will host the Future of Authentication Policy Forum, which will highlight strong authentication as the best way to address cyber threats. This event will take place at the Civiletti Conference Center at Venable, LLP, in Washington, D.C., from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (EDT), and it’s free to register.
We recently partnered with the National Association of Corporate Directors to create a tip sheet, Communicating with the Board About Cybersecurity – Making the Business Case. This primer provides guidelines for effective board-level communication about cybersecurity matters. Check it out here!
Here are a few additional ways you can participate in NCSAM this week online and in the community.
- Get involved on social media. Use the #CyberAware hashtag in your posts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and download our sample social media content to share before and during the month.
- Become a NCSAM Champion. Register yourself and/or your organization as a Champion to take action in support of NCSAM and receive materials you can use to spread the word. It’s easy and free to sign up.
- Join our #ChatSTC Twitter chats. Each week, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a discussion on a different online safety topic. This Thursday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT, we’ll discuss how all businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most common cyber threats and strengthen their cyber resilience. Use #ChatSTC to join!
For more information on NCSAM and how you can get involved, visit our NCSAM web portal and check out DHS’ STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ page. We look forward to partnering with you to make this NCSAM the best yet!