Your New Year’s Resolution: Make Cybersecurity a Habit

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Businesswoman discussing with coworkers at desk in creative office.jpegHappy 2018! For 40% of Americans, the new year means setting a New Year’s Resolution – have you made one? What about for your business? In 2018, we challenge you to make your (business) New Year’s Resolution to take data security seriously. But not just that – we challenge you to make cybersecurity a habit.

Many executives think of data security as a one-time fix – something they can check off a to-do list. According to the Harvard Business Review, decision-makers tend to use the wrong mental model when it comes to deciding where and how to invest in cybersecurity. They think of it as a one-time fortification process – or assume that if they didn’t experience a data breach last year, they don’t need to do anything different this year.

Five or ten years ago, that may have been fine. But unfortunately, that’s just not the reality anymore. We’ve written before about how cybersecurity has changed as more of the world has moved to cloud services. It’s no longer enough just to get a firewall and an antivirus scanner and call it a day.

Cybercrime is continually changing and evolving. While some of the most common tactics cybercriminals use to target businesses (like phishing) have been around for awhile, even these are getting more sophisticated. And new threats are emerging all the time.

Cybersecurity isn’t a one-time fix – and it also cannot be the responsibility of one person or department. Cybersecurity must be a team effort. Yes, your IT team should be responsible for implementing and maintaining any systems (like your firewall) you have in place to help your team.

But cybercriminals aren’t targeting your IT team when they attack. Say your finance team receives a phishing email from someone impersonating your CEO asking for a wire transfer. Would they know what to do? Would they even be able to spot it as an attack? If not, your company could be in serious trouble.

Part of taking cybersecurity seriously is making sure every employee in your company knows the warning signs of an attack and knows what they should do if they see something suspicious. Part of making it a habit is making sure everyone in your company puts this into practice.

Listen, we get it. Keeping a New Year’s Resolution is tough (1/3 of people fail by the end of January). But cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon. If you aren’t taking your cybersecurity seriously, it could cost you.

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