Rolling around every October, along with candy, pumpkins, and costumes, is a cybersecurity mainstay: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, or NCSAM. Billed as a ‘collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online’, NCSAM 2019 is centered around the theme of ‘Own it. Secure it. Protect it.’.

As NSCAM comes to an end, and as 2019 shapes up to be a truly banner (and not in a good way) year for data breaches, two Entrust executives share messages that should apply long past October:

Cindy Provin, SVP Entrust Datacard and GM, Entrust Security

Each year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month grows more and more pertinent. In our digitally connected world nearly everyone uses the internet for work and entertainment, yet it’s also the most vulnerable entry point for viruses, malware and cybercriminals. Encouraging responsible use of the internet is of paramount importance, as is using data security solutions that protect sensitive information. While there are proactive steps consumers can take to protect their personal data, the onus is also very much on businesses that also store and manage consumer data. According to Risk Based Security’s Midyear Report, in the first half of the year 85% of exposed records came from the business sector. When considering this, it’s understandable that an Entrust Security survey issued this year found that two-thirds of respondents are fearful of identity theft from sharing private information online. If organizations want to rebuild trust with consumers and retain loyalty, it is imperative they prioritize data security and utilize encryption technologies. Doing so will go a long way toward demonstrating they are more than just aware.

Peter Galvin, VP of Strategy, Entrust Security

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a welcome reminder of the importance of securing personal data. From a data breach standpoint, 2019 has been a dismal year and consumers are feeling the heat. An Entrust Security survey issued this year found that 68% of Americans were afraid their identity would be stolen, a third of them were concerned embarrassing information would be leaked on the internet, and 20% don’t trust anyone to protect their data. Fortunately, consumers can, and frankly, must, take proactive measures to stay safe. These include never clicking on a link or opening an email that looks suspicious, using strong passwords and changing them frequently, and avoiding unencrypted public Wi-Fi networks.

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