In today’s modern world, there are always reports of cyber breaches or attacks happening. Take the recent Capital One data breach, for example, hackers gained access to over 100 million Capital One customer accounts. Highlighting the importance of ensuring businesses have not only an effective cybersecurity plan in place but that it is also being implemented. It is imperative that reviews of these practices are carried out regularly. This is due to cybercriminals constantly evolving their tactics to access your valuable information; meaning that your cybersecurity plan should be updated continuously in order to protect itself against these threats as well.
Cybersecurity is defined by its governance as “technologies, processes, and controls designed to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber-attacks.” Having effective cybersecurity strategies in place reduces the risk of cyber-attacks and protects against the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.
Essential cybercriminals want access to your personal data, which given unauthorized access to can have harmful consequences on your business.
As the volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks grow; companies and organizations, especially those that are tasked with safeguarding information such as financial records, need to take steps to protect sensitive business and personal information.
By implementing an effective plan, you can protect your valuable information from being taken and used to harm not only your business but your client’s important data as well. With the shocking statistics that 60% of businesses that suffer a cyber-attack goes out of business within 6 months. Not having an effective plan in place could potentially see the end of your business.
To know where to start with your security plan, you need to understand the current practices you already have in place. From assessing these policies an understanding can be taken of how these policies work and how effective they are. If they are no longer in place, why? Was it a problem with the implementation, a lack of resources, or maybe a management issue?
Once you have reviewed former/current security strategies that are in place, it is time to assess the current state of the security environment. Is the system maintained or has it been neglected? What do your staff know regarding the security of your business?
Once you have all this information, a strategic plan can be put into place. This will help set goals towards the management and processes that must be implemented. It is also a good idea to track how these processes are working and how effective this is towards your future business. Ensuring all information is centralized will help to understand what is working and what improvements can be made moving forward.
Prevention is the key tactic for ensuring you are prepared for any type of attack. Ensuring you are monitoring your networks can help to spot any slow or weakening components that might be a risk to your system.
“Network monitoring is a critical IT process. Where all networking components such as routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and VMs are monitored for faults and performance and evaluated continuously to maintain and optimize their availability.”
If the system picks a potential threat or breach, the system will then notify and alert the IT provider/department. Once this alert has been received, the threat can be fully assessed and figure out the best cause of action to take.
Once you have established what risks you are vulnerable to and the impact this can have on your infrastructure, you need to establish how you can contain them. A popular model to use is the prevention, detection, and response one.
Either your IT provider or department needs to have a responsive plan in place. All the information you need should ideally be in one place so that when/if a breach occurs all the information required can be accessed quickly. This is essential as timing is everything once a breach has arisen. Within the plan, there should be instructions on how to deal with the breach and the procedures which need to be implemented.
Also keeping a log report of all incidents which occur allows you to adapt any strategies which aren’t providing the best security for the business.
There are various legislation and compliance’ which businesses must follow as a legal requirement, this includes any data you have on your employees or customers. This is even more important since GDPR came into effect in 2018. If this compliance’ isn’t met, you may face a substantial fine.
Whilst ensuring you are meeting the basic requirements, going beyond these can help improve your business reputation as one that cares about how they deal with information.
A few other useful processes to put in place:
A business’s most valuable asset is its employees, without a workforce a business wouldn’t be there. So, ensuring your employees are undertaking the basic security processes is essential for any business. Shockingly “almost 90% of cyber-attacks are caused by human error or behaviour.”
Showing the importance of training your staff with the correct processes includes simple tasks such as changing passwords frequently and enabling two-factor authentications.
Training on the latest security practices is also key, to ensuring employees understand the implications. Embedding these into the culture of the business ensures everyone is working towards the same goal. If this isn’t clearly defined your business can lose focus and drive on the task at hand.
Also having a plan in place isn’t going to be effective if you don’t tell people about it. Communicating and being transparent about any plans or issues which may arise will be far more effective and will ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. If a business does experience a breach, being open will help build/keep trust among the employees and stakeholders.
When you are reviewing or implementing your financial budget, factoring in cyber security measures is an essential cost a business must account for. You don’t need to spend masses of money to protect a business from cyber threats. Having an effective firewall and anti-virus plan in place, along with knowledge and skills about cyber security can be far more valuable than investing thousands and thousands on elaborate systems which your business may not actually require.
Here at TwentyFour IT, our dedicated team can offer the best solutions and processes which your business requires to ensure you are protecting your business.
For more information please contact us here.