Review Policies and Procedures During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month


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Cybersecurity educational opportunities are available online via ACA’s seminars. Separately, attendees venturing to Chicago for the 2018 Fall Forum and Expo Nov. 7-9 should check-out the agenda for similar sessions.

10/19/2018 12:30

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month—a perfect time for business executives to review data security policies and procedures.

As a refresher on data security for businesses, Collector magazine recently published reports on how businesses can keep data safe and ensure that security policies are up-to-date. Cyber liability, once a relatively unknown insurance offering, is slowly becoming standard in the accounts receivable management industry to help mitigate losses related to data breaches, Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May reports.

Following the 2017 Equifax data breach, new risks surfaced making it essential for companies to take another look at data security policies and procedures, and to develop a response plan in the event that a breach occurs.

It’s important that companies are vigilant and recognize that staff is the first line of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. All company-related content, materials and other work should be backed up using a layered approach such as firewalls, anti-virus software and regular monitoring by trained staff.

Anyone interested in updated seminars on data security should attend the upcoming 2018 Fall Forum & Expo Nov. 7-9 in Chicago where the “Insecure About Data Security” session is expected to draw a crowd of attendees in need of new information. Registration is open online and on-site at the event.

Meanwhile, Kelly Knepper-Stephens, general counsel at Stoneleigh Recovery Associates LLC., will host ACA International’s next CORE Curriculum seminar on data security and privacy  Dec. 4-5. Attendees will learn about implementing effective policies and procedures, and notifying consumers if a data security breach occurs. The seminar will also explore essential safeguards and strategies to develop a Data Security Compliance Program. Registration is open now.

Accounts receivable management industry professionals should also consult the Federal Trade Commission’s website for quick tips on data security. Among the recommendations, the FTC says that companies should:

  • Update software. Outdated software makes it easier for criminals to break into computers and other devices. Most software can update automatically, so companies are advised to ensure that their systems include this feature.
  • Make passwords long, strong and complex. That means at least 12 characters with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Common words and phrases should be avoided.
  • Use multi-factor authentication, if possible. For accounts that support it, multi-factor authentication requires a password and an additional piece of information to log in. The second piece could be a code generated by an app or a key that’s inserted into a computer. This protects an account even if the password is compromised.
  • Back up files. No system is completely secure. Company files should be copied to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Thus, if a computer is attacked by malware, files may still be accessed.

Read more on cybersecurity tips specific to the accounts receivable management industry in Securing Your World and Work and Taking a Layered Approach from ACA International’s Collector magazine.

The FTC recently released new materials on cybersecurity for small businesses  including fact sheets, videos and quizzes on cybersecurity basics, tech support scams, email authentication and more.

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