• Views July 26, 2017

You should care about cyber security, and not just because your identity might get stolen.

On July 25, House Dems introduced a bill to boost the U.S. cybersecurity workforce, which includes providing incentivized tax breaks for employers offering cybersecurity training.

Why?  Because you can make a major difference. 

How? a 2016 study from the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a single cybercrime is $17 million. While this figure is skewed by large companies, the per-employee cost to a small business is more than $1,500. 

Take that $1,500-per-employee and think about how your employer operates. Those funds could go towards profitability or to R&D to boost future revenue, which manifests in holiday bonuses, salaries and raises, among other things. Providing they’re not diverted to combat and recover from a breach.  

What many of us don’t recognize, is that -- with all the recent hacks, Petya, WannaCry breeches -- cyber events are very much each of our problems. All it takes is one wrong click, a lost phone or weak password, and your company – including your benefits, perks and even career path – are at stake.  You and your cube-mates are your employers’ primary line of defense. Take it seriously. [HR teams: here are free posters from LogRhythm (#FPclient) to help with your efforts.]

And it’s not just “today” that matters.  If you have a 401k plan – or any other savings vehicle – cybercrime can hit you there too.

The massive attacks from this spring are beginning to be reflected in companies’ financial performance. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) expects a, “material financial impact” as a result the damage done to its operations. That stock is owned by Vanguard, PRIMECAP, State Street, etc. and is incorporated into a number of mutual funds offered across 401k plans.  Similarly, Mondelez, which includes Nabisco, Oreo, Toblerone and Tang in its portfolio of brands, noted it will, “… likely see a 3% negative impact on second quarter revenue growth from the June 27 Petya virus, which impacted its invoicing and shipping.” 

Negative three percent. Petya happened with only FOUR days left in Q2.  Buckle up.

So, the next time your IT or HR team asks for you to participate in cyber training, consider yourself lucky, as fewer than 50 percent of us receive any form of cybersecurity training at work.  

Whether you’re in the back office or corner office, part of your job is to maintain your link in the armor. Take this responsibility seriously, as your actions can affect your company, as well as your retirement.

[Note: This blog was not sponsored by David Leo, or anyone else in Finn’s IT department.]