KnowBe4 Comments on Recent Cyber Security Act and How Businesses Need Protection

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On August 2, 2012, the Cyber Security Act of 2012 failed to pass the Senate- President Obama considering Executive Order; Cybersecurity Expert, KnowBe4 Founder, comments on need for protection, regardless of the law or Executive Order

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Companies need to understand the urgency and importance of cybersecurity, and should take action on their own, even if such action is not enforced through bills or Executive Orders

On August 2, 2012, the bill known as the “Cyber Security Act of 2012”, which created a set of security standards for companies to meet, failed to pass the Senate. Now President Obama is working on an Executive Order to accomplish the same thing. However, according to security awareness training firm KnowBe4, American businesses must still take urgent measures when protecting against cybercrime, whether laws pass or not.

The Senate bill sought to protect computer networks running the power grid, gas pipelines and water supply and transportation systems from hackers by forcing companies to meet certain security standards.(1) Even after experts have warned that those networks are increasingly vulnerable to a cyberattack which could lead to severe economic loss, the bill was not passed, and cybersecurity was put on the back burner.

“Regardless of whether the Cybersecurity Act passed, people are still at risk, and companies may not always comply with regulations,” commented Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 Founder and CEO. “Companies need to understand the urgency and importance of cybersecurity, and should take action on their own, even if such action is not enforced through bills or Executive Orders.”

Sjouwerman makes a valid point, considering the fact that in a recent conference call with reporters, General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, stated that there was a "twentyfold" increase in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure from 2009 to 2011.(1)

With all the uproar on protection for large-scale and national systems, it is important to remember the attacks on the backbone of our economy - small and medium sized enterprises - continues to increase. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime Study reported that the frequency of cyberattacks has increased by nearly 45%, and the time and cost to resolve these has also risen. The study’s findings indicate that a single attack now takes an average of 18 days and $416,000 to correct.(2)

KnowBe4 believes that there are two things all companies should to do protect themselves, their money and their business:

1. Allocate at least one person to be responsible for cybersecurity in your company, and have this person deploy defense in depth (starting with establishing policy, creating procedures and initial security awareness training); and

2. Ongoing security awareness training is needed for all employees on the issue of cybercrime, because employees are the weakest link in IT Security.

KnowBe4 is committed to protecting businesses against cybercrime. Its latest efforts have been accomplished through a partnership with former hacker Kevin Mitnick, wherein they developed Kevin Mitnick Security Training. The training is interactive and web-based, and includes case studies, live demonstration videos and short tests. KnowBe4 uses knowledge of the latest cybercrime tactics to train its clients’ employees, ranging from defense contractors to hospitals and insurance corporations.

Despite what laws are in place, cybercrime is prevalent, and companies need to protect their businesses to stay safe, whether or not a bill is passed.

For more information on how KnowBe4 and Kevin Mitnick can protect businesses against cybercrime, visit

About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which provides web-based Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) to small and medium-sized enterprises. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, an award-winning anti-malware software company that he and his partner sold to GFI Software in 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help entrepreneurs tackle cybercrime tactics through advanced security awareness training. He and his colleagues work with companies in many different industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance and insurance. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses Since the Meltdown of 2008.

(1), August 2, 2012: Cyber Security Law Fails to Pass Senate Before Month-Long Break:

(2)“HP Research Reveals 56 Percent Rise in Cost of Cybercrime”; published on, August 2, 2011.

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