The reality of our marketplace today is that all businesses must understand the risks/consequences of cybersecurity attacks. Protecting an organization’s data used to be more about recovering from a physical disaster (flood/fire/tornado or internal challenges like malicious behavior/technology failures/end-user errors). And while this process is critical, the technology to prevent and recover from those challenges is better than ever and is more of a standard expectation for business leaders and IT professionals.
The growing challenge is dealing with the constant and complex risk of cyber-security attacks and the exploitation of technology vulnerabilities. The risk of an attack continues to increase month over month. Cyber-threats carry operational and financial risk, and while headlines focus on the attacks of larger organizations, 1/3 of attacks are directed at businesses with less than 250 employees. As a small business owner, it’s a costly error to believe your business is a less relevant target. The reality is that all data is important to somebody and your network is never 100% secure. Smaller organizations are easier targets as their policies and procedures to prevent/recover from these attacks are less robust.
However, there are some foundational steps that every business should take to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. Each step involves additional planning and discussion:
Implementation of IT Standards and Best Practices
•Routine network maintenance (security patching/updates for servers/applications/end-user devices)
•Robust IT security services (firewalling/antivirus/email security/password management, data encryption services/multi-factor authentication services/etc.)
•Data protection/backup (automated local/offsite backups, routine testing of backups, and restore capabilities)
Employee Education & Training
•Create a process for helping your employees understand the risk of cyber-security attacks and their role in mitigating that risk.
Disaster Recovery/Cyber-Attack Planning
•Developing both a Disaster Recovery Plan and an Incident Response Plan is an important process and with the increasing threat of cyber-security attacks, recovering from a cyber-attack needs to be a specific part of your planning process.
•Knowing that most organizations will experience some level of cyber-security attack, the process of risk mitigation includes the implementation of cyber-security insurance. Speak with a trusted advisor or industry expert about the components of a Cyber-Security policy. However, it’s important to note that it’s getting harder to secure cyber insurance as most carriers are requiring more advanced IT security protocols to be in place for coverage to be underwritten and/or certain coverage amounts to be attained.
Work through these steps to reduce the risk associated with cyber-attacks and better protect your business, employees, and customers. If you feel you need help in these areas, Connecting Point can help assess and evaluate your business.