With the passing of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 and the recent Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), President Obama has made it a priority to dedicate funds – $19 billion to be exact – to strengthen our country’s digital security. But the federal government’s focus in this area cannot unilaterally defend businesses and individuals against risks.

The Main Goals of CNAP

The $19 billion dollar investment will be used to advance three goals:

  1. Identity Protection – To provide Americans with the tools they need to protect themselves online
  2. Corporate Security – To protect and defend American corporations’ operations and information from hackers
  3. Government Protection – To ensure the private information citizens provide for federal benefits and services is safe and secure

Cyber Security Starts in the Boardroom – and at Home

CNAP is a great start, but it’s not solely up to the government to address cyber security. Businesses and other organizations hold first-line accountability for protecting their employee and customer data. At the same time, cybersecurity is an individual responsibility.

3 Key Takeaways

As I mention in my blog post, Password Protection: Tips and Tricks from an IT Expert, we shouldn’t be making it any easier for hackers to get into our accounts. Organizations and individuals alike must:

  1. Invest in virus, malware, spyware tools on every device.
  2. Ensure devices are updated regularly.
  3. Close any “open access” or “freely broadcasting” access points to networks.

2 Prevention Principles

Keep two core tenets in mind: (1) the financial impact of a breach far outweighs the invested cost in cyber security and (2) the more difficult you make it for hackers to compromise your networks and data, the more likely hackers will be to move on to easier targets.

Unsure what type of cybersecurity plan best fits your company’s needs? Talk to your Director of Security, or if you don’t have one, consider having an outside firm conduct a security assessment.

Your digital footprint will follow you the rest of your life.