It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an initiative launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the federal government to raise awareness of the importance of the topic and to offer tips and tools for individuals and businesses protect their information.

The goal of the annual campaign is to create greater security around sensitive data, but more broadly, it’s a reminder that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Just as each of us needs to take steps to protect personal data online and take precautions that limit exposure to threats, businesses should also use this month to reiterate strong security practices with their staff, vendors and other stakeholders.

Business leaders are always being reminded of the dangers of careless or malicious insiders—those with privileged access to systems or information either within the company or the vendors and contractors that work with it. Bomgar’s recent study of vendor vulnerability revealed surprising findings:

  • 69 percent of IT professionals said they definitely or possibly suffered a security breach resulting from vendor access within the past year
  • 66 percent reported they find it difficult to stay on top of changing security threats to their company
  • Only 34 percent know the number of log-ins attributed to vendors

In addition, a recent IBM cybersecurity report found that 60 percent of all attacks were carried out by insiders. Of these, 75 percent involved malicious intent, with the remainder resulting from inadvertent actions.

Companies can limit their security risk by routinely updating security policies, reviewing their privileged users and how much access is granted to each, and instill enhanced security tools such as multi-factor authentication and password management. Keeping sound security policies at the forefront for staff, contractors and vendors can optimize the technology tools and training the company provides.

For other helpful tips and advice during National Cyber Security Awareness Month, take a look at a few of our resources below: