Oftentimes businesses believe, “Cybersecurity is only for IT staff to worry about,” “I’m not a target,” “I can’t afford it,” “I don’t have time,” and “I’m not sure what to do.” October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we would like to fervently and directly extinguish these common falsehoods that may have crossed your mind. There are measures that can and should be taken by every individual, whether you are an IT professional or not. You are a target! No matter the size of your business or the industry you’re in, a cyber attack will inevitably come knocking at your door. Most importantly, know that there are time and cost effective solutions you can apply to protect yourself and if you are not sure what those solutions are the Salt Lake Chamber is here to support you.

The Utah state network sees an average of five million attacks each month and the siege of cyber criminals upon the private sector is equally atrocious. Most concerning is the worrisome fact that 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. With such a threat to our economy growing, the incentives for investment and entrepreneurship are at risk. Raising your cybersecurity awareness reaches beyond the personal success of your business and stands out as a menace to free enterprise. Do your part. Start down the path towards cybersecurity today and protect the prosperity of our community.

Are you ready to get started? First, there is a wealth of resources available to you on the Chamber’s website at slchamber.com/cyber. Take the time to briefly familiarize yourself with this issue and commit to implementing some simple solutions this month.

Risk management is always a balancing act between productivity and implementing security. However with repair costs, loss of reputation and credibility, loss of assets, loss of customers, and potentially the loss of your business looming overhead, we encourage you to make time for cybersecurity. Simple things like setting strong passwords, keeping your software up to date, having your data backed up, or training your employees on how to recognize and respond to a phishing email can have a huge impact on your vulnerability level. Businesses must also take the time to do a thorough inventory of the information they are collecting and recognize that they are obligated to protect it. Individuals should only have access to information that is necessary for completing their duties, nothing more. These solutions are not particularly challenging to put into place, and yet they can drastically reduce your risk profile. Please join the Salt Lake Chamber in this effort to fortify Utah’s business environment and participate in Cybersecurity Awareness Month.