National Cyber Security Awareness Month is October and provides an opportunity for all small businesses to focus on cybersecurity measures. The month long designation was created over 10 years ago by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS continues to support cybersecurity with free resources. Check out their site for Awareness Month.
Beyond the Usual
This month managers should be sure their staff knows the basics – password rules and change frequency, BYOD policy, access levels, and patch management practices. Once you have covered the basics, take time for some additional security measures. Consider the following activities during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Use phishing quizzes
Help your employees stay fresh with identifying phishing scams. The scams continue to plague businesses and are often sophisticated. One way to help employees to learn how to identify phishing emails is to use a phishing quiz. Here is a quiz provided by a vendor that you may wish to take:
Dell/Sonic Wall: http://www.sonicwall.com/furl/phishing/
Check your back ups
Now is a great time to check your back-ups. Make sure you have
• 1 full back-up
• Last month’s back-up
• Any incremental back-ups since last month
You should have your IT specialist test the back-ups to ensure the data is readable and complete. A good business recovery exercise is to run a recovery simulation using the back-ups, so your IT folks and management know how a recovery should take place when needed.
Review your funds transfer procedures
Fraudulent fund transfer scams are increasing. Take time to review your internal procedures with all your employees that are involved with funds. Include staff that are the backups for the primary fund transfer people as well as any new primary people in your process review. Make sure they know that questioning a legitimate request is better than sending a fraudulent request.
Participate in the Stop.Think.Connect. Program
DHS sponsors this cyber awareness program and has some great resources to specific markets such as students, older Americans and young professionals. This guide provides materials, factoids, and ideas on how you can support the campaign for cybersecurity.
Go to the National Cybersecurity Institute’s website to view the daily and weekly activities that are sponsored for National Cyber Security Awareness Month.