The Business of Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month and the Salt Lake Chamber is joining the Department of Homeland Security’s STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™  Campaign and its partners across the nation to highlight the importance of cybersecurity. 

We all remember in 2013 when a national retailer fell victim to the biggest retail data breach in U.S history. The cause was a malware installation that compromised 40 million credit cards and the information of 70 million customers – ultimately, impacting 1 in 3 American consumers. 

Even Utah has suffered damages from a cyber attack. In 2012, a data breach exposed the personal information of three-quarters of a million Utah residents to cyber criminals. 

Whether you’re a government agency, Fortune 500 company, or a brick and mortar small business, cyber threats are inevitable. Yet time and again, we see large data breaches often as a result of inaction.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. An important phrase for businesses to remember is: “If you collect it you must protect it.” In a connected, online society others may suffer as a result of a business’s’ failure to act.

You don’t have to be an IT professional to understand the basics of cyber security.

Every day you do simple things to protect yourself and your business. You protect your house when you lock your doors. You protect your children when you hold their hands to cross the street. You protect your health when you brush your teeth. These are simple, but impactful activities you do every day, probably without a second thought. Your response to cyber security should be the same. 

As part of recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness month the Salt Lake Chamber encourages everyone to take 15 minutes out of their day to complete the following three cybersecurity steps:

  1. Change Your Password. Choose your three most sensitive accounts – accounts that you would not want ANYONE to access, like your bank account or email – and change your passwords. Make your passwords long, with a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  2. Update Your Software and Operating Systems. Don’t let cyber criminals take advantage of known vulnerabilities in your devices. Updating your programs and computers with the latest software can only help.
  3. Secure Your Social Media. Review the sharing or privacy options on all of your social media platforms and ensure they are at the strictest level. Only share your profile and what you post with people you know in real life.

It’s evident that becoming cyber secure is good for business. Today, cyber security threats are increasing and as a result so are the damages they cause. Beyond the costs incurred from a data breach is the impact it has on a business’ reputation and customer trust. 

As stated in our annual Public Policy Guide, the Salt Lake Chamber continues to support efforts that improve business awareness of cyber threats and enhance legal certainty, protection, and response capabilities to mitigate cyber attacks. The Chamber also supports efforts to develop a cyber security savvy workforce and economic development opportunities.

As an official partner of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Campaign, the Chamber will be providing resources and information during National Cybersecurity Awareness month to encourage Utah’s business community to become more cyber secure. Learn more how to get involved by visiting and stay connected with the Chamber for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month HERE.