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Grow Your Business Security

Are You Prepared for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Are You Prepared for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
Credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Halloween isn't the only spooky thing to keep in mind this October; hackers are also lying in wait, year round, to target businesses and individuals alike. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to reevaluate their cyber defenses and emergency planning to ensure they're as insulated as possible from an attack.

"Keeping America safe requires us to bolster our security online," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "This month, we renew our commitment to ensuring our information is more secure, our data is safer, and our families and businesses are more protected than ever before. If we work toward this goal -- as individuals and as a Nation -- together we can realize our full potential in the digital age."

Cybersecurity can be a difficult issue to understand, especially for a business owner who is spending so much of their time running day to day operations and keeping track of finances. For many small businesses, hiring a dedicated, full-time IT professional is out of the question, and yet the importance of defending their networks is not lost on entrepreneurs. For those looking for more information on how to protect their businesses, we've rounded up some of our most helpful cybersecurity articles from the past year.

  1. Cybersecurity: A Small Business Guide: This guide breaks down the basics, from types of cyberattacks to several ways you might be able to prevent or counter them. This is a great place to start if you're unfamiliar with cybersecurity in general.
  2. Essential Steps for Improving Your Small Business Cybersecurity: These steps are key to improving your defenses against cyberattacks. Take a look through these following suggestions and make sure you're truly protected.
  3. 4 Ways Your Business Can Bridge the Cybersecurity Skills Gap: For those entrepreneurs who are uncertain on how to most effectively protect their network, this article examines ways the cybersecurity industry is changing and growing, and offers business owners some suggestions on how to fill open positions.
  4. Cyberattack Risks Remain a Threat to Businesses Despite Insurance: Cybersecurity insurance has emerged as a way to mitigate the risks of a cyberattack, but generally this insurance could only replace a portion of the damage. Cyberattacks not only cause financial havoc, but also can ding your reputation. Find out why you might need insurance, as well as what gaps might remain in your defenses.
  5. SBA Unveils Small Business Cybersecurity Tools: For last year's Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration released a series of tools for small businesses to utilize in trying to thwart cyberattacks. Peruse some of the techniques and information provided by the SBA.

As digital technology becomes ever more ubiquitous and powerful, cyberattacks will become more and more common. Already, experts warn that it's not a matter of if a cyberattack will occur, but when. The only thing a small business can do to protect itself is to be prepared and knowledgeable. Take some time this month to review your network's security and update your contingency planning in the event an attack does take place. The peace of mind and security of your business is worth it.

Adam C. Uzialko

Adam received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He worked for a local newspaper and freelanced for several publications after graduating college. He can be reached by email, or follow him on Twitter.