While many might associate Halloween and pumpkin spice lattes with October, business owners are well-advised to make one other association. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and 2013 marks the 10th year of the event, which is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The DHS said in a statement on its website that cyber threats are constantly evolving, and it's critical for everyone to understand how to keep their information safe.
"Cyberspace is woven into the fabric of our daily lives and the world is more interconnected today than ever before," the DHS said. "We enjoy the benefits and convenience that cyberspace provides as we shop from home online, bank using our smart phones and interact with friends from around the world through social networks."
However, the organization added that it is committed to raising awareness nationwide, so all levels of the government and private sector understand how to protect against and respond to cyber security issues.
Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution, told the Wall Street Journal that having a response plan is only one piece to the puzzle. It is also important for organizations to practice that plan to ensure it runs smoothly and the chance for more negative consequences is mitigated.
Small- to medium-sized businesses should take this opportunity to review their technology insurance. Having comprehensive and current coverage is crucial. Whether your organization relies heavily on cloud computing or still uses desktops, recovering from a data breach can be expensive and time consuming.
Additionally, customers could become less trusting of your business if they find that their information has become compromised. Working with commercial insurance specialists who understand this aspect of business can be immensely helpful in keeping your company prepared through the rest of October and beyond.