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Are You Aware That October is Cyber Security Awareness Month?

You are now, and that is important!  But, what is really important is what you are going to do about it as it relates to your business, and customers.  Two large California security companies come quickly to mind.  One suffered two ransomware attacks on their company within a short period of time. The second, a central station, suffered a similar attack to one of their servers.  This continuing battle against some extremely aggressive hackers can be very expensive, and requires a variety of skill sets.

Do your employees have the training to recognize a phishing penetration, as opposed to a friendly email from a customer?  Your employees need to be led, trained, and managed to help protect you from an incident.  The numbers have become so large that it is imperative for you to use this month’s awareness education to take the next step.  You need to find the right person in your company to assume this leadership and educational task.  Then you have to locate someone to train this individual so that he can carry the cyber security message to your employees on a consistent basis.

There are several important principals to consider:

  1. The whole company needs to be involved.
  2. This is an ongoing task that gets more important every year.
  3. Choose a Cyber Manager who has leadership skills and the respect of your employees.
  4. Train your Cyber Manager and provide him/her with the necessary resources to succeed.
  5. Seek out a third-party resource with the skill sets to deliver this training each year.
  6. Recognize that over a period of time, your employees will develop the skills to help train your new employees as your company grows.
  7. Start the process now…it only gets harder.

There are many factors in the Cyber Management equation, which is why the entire company must be involved.  As the owner(s), it is particularly important that you fully participate in the process. After all of the above, you must find a way to positively and effectively evaluate the Cyber Manager to complete this circle of success.

How do you locate and retain this training and evaluation individual or company to help build a digital wall around your company?  He may be the individual who repairs your computers or helps you with software problems, perhaps.  He/she may also be your accountant or lawyer, although that is unlikely.  It should optimally be a cyber solutions company, so that the service can be focused and consistent.  The company should have been in business for some time and have a substantial number of customers like you.  A cyber solutions company should be able to certify that your company meets the various federal and state requirements for privacy and cyber breach.  Most importantly, you want a cyber partner that will go to bat for you if you have a breach (and you undoubtedly will).  They will then be able to demonstrate to state and federal authorities that you have complied with their rules, and, thus not be fined for non-compliance.  By-the-way, if the certification is an actual seal of compliance you can use it on your website and advertising materials to assure customers and vendors that you are managing their personal information properly.

Oh, do not forget to call your insurance agent and request a quote for a cyber insurance endorsement to your General Liability policy.  The premiums are relatively low, but they likely will not cover fines and penalties if you are not in full compliance.

Would this cyber partner be a winner if they enabled you to provide cyber solutions and identity theft products to your customers and paid you to do it?  Does that sound like RMR?  You bet it is!  You deliver physical security to your customers and now have the opportunity to deliver cyber solutions and build RMR.  The right cyber partner will give you that capability.  In effect, solving your cyber challenge can lead to more RMR from your customer base.

If you are a monitoring client of AvantGuard central station, call your regional manager and ask him how you can build new RMR and cyber protect yourself by partnering with INVISUS.

For further information, contact Tony Smith / Founder and President of Security Funding Associates / and past President of the CAA.  He is a licensed California alarm dealer and current member of TMA.  He may be reached at (626) 795-9199 or tsmith@securityfundingassociates.com.

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