October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). This year’s theme is “Do Your Part, Be Cyber Smart.” While the knowledge of cybersecurity best practices and data hygiene has increased during the seventeen years since the first NCSAM, the threats posed by hackers and other bad actors has increased too.
Even with the cybersecurity industry projected to grow ten percent over the next several years and the passage of increasingly stringent regulations and penalties for data breaches, there’s a steady march of news stories about cyber crimes and other security fails.
Studies suggest that hacking attacks occur roughly 2,200 times per day (that’s about one every 39 seconds). Meanwhile, the average lifecycle of a data breach is nearly a year. Now for the bigger problem: only 36 percent of Americans have ever checked to see if they have been compromised in a data compromise, and still more don’t know what steps to take if their personal information is compromised.
While some may look at the rising costs of data breaches and the seeming inevitability of successful cyberattacks and feel compromise is inevitable--and to some extent that is true, but to do so makes matters worse: Cybersecurity awareness training reduces the risk to companies and individuals alike.
While it’s impossible to eradicate the threat posed by hackers, organizations that invest in training have been shown to reduce the likelihood of a successful cyberattack by 10-15 percent, sometimes more, and the overall financial loss from a data breach decreased by over 75 percent.
“[T]he best solution… is creating a culture of cyber threat awareness and best practices,” says CyberScout founder and chairman Adam Levin. “There is no one way to solve the cybersecurity quagmire, but there are very established routes through it, and you owe it to your company to learn them and teach them to everyone you work with.”