The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday released a guide to help business owners and managers identify cyberthreats, as well as adopt solutions to reduce threats and increase network security.
“Internet Security Essentials for Business,” released by the chamber at its National Cybersecurity Awareness Month meeting in Washington, is aimed at educating businesses about common threats they face online, specifically cybercrimes such as stealing intelligence, identity theft and trade secrets.
The guide was put together to stress that taking care of a business’ cybersecurity should be a “team sport” involving multiple players outside of the IT department. This includes educating employees about how they handle sensitive data.
“Businesses have an array of sensitive information—personnel records, blueprints, tax forms, customer orders—that require protection,” said Ann Beauchesne, the chamber’s vp of national security and emergency preparedness. “The guide discusses common threats to business information and computers, such as hacking and malware, and the rise in cybercrime, which has spiked in recent years.”
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a joint operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center, annual cybercrime complaints reported to the IC3 increased 22% in 2009 vs. 2008 and were up 63% in 2009 vs. 2007.
Additionally, the IC3 reported that businesses lost $559.7 million due to cybercrime in 2009, up from $264.6 million in 2008.
“Anyone who uses the Internet is susceptible to offenses such as credit card fraud or theft of IP (address),” stated the guide, which was sponsored by Visa Inc., Microsoft Corp. and utility provider Southern Co. “The cost of attack is relatively low for criminals and the payoff is high. The goal for businesses is to raise sophistication of your cybersecurity practices to increase the price of success for your adversaries.”
The full guide can be found free of charge at www.uschamber.com/cybersecurity.