Being aware of the most recent cybersecurity trends is imperative when planning for the future. It’s especially true when you take into account the more than 7 in 10 U.S. organizations that were impacted by a data breach over the past few years.
The majority of those affected are small-to-medium sized businesses.
Understanding the associated threats is the first step towards the development of a solid cybersecurity strategy. This will allow you to take a proactive approach, creating a reliable security plan before any issues arise.
SMBs Face Significant Cybersecurity Threats
In the headlines, you often hear of security breaches in regards to large corporations.
Naturally, they’re significant enough – they involve the personal information of thousands (if not millions) of customers. Still, you seldom hear about the more common victims — those who own or operate small businesses.
It makes sense, as from a hacker’s point-of-view. A small business will have more digital assets than a random individual, and they also have fewer security protocols in comparison to larger organizations.
They’re the unfortunate perfect target for these cybercriminals. But all hope is not lost.
In addition to working with a professionally managed service provider, you must be aware of best practices for your business. Start with the basics and continue to invest in vulnerable areas, focusing on firewalls, two-step authentication, data backup solutions, encryption software, etc.
The Elements in Your Cybersecurity Strategy
When it comes to the current and future success of your business, cybersecurity is a serious issue — and the stakes are higher than ever before. If you are ready to get serious about cybersecurity, be mindful of the following elements and recommended steps.
Step 1: Get (and Stay) Informed
When it comes to a solid cybersecurity strategy, there is one element you need to be aware of — human error. The human component can significantly weaken your level of security, especially if training is not a key priority.
Within your company, you should assign the role of Chief Information Security Officer. This individual (or team of individuals) will have authority and funding to ensure the protection of company data and the IT infrastructure. Although there should be levels of hierarchy, you should provide training for each person within the organization.
From spotting phishing emails to avoiding possible malware attacks, remember that knowledge is power. The key here is due diligence and overall awareness. In addition, if a breach does occur, team members should already know how to respond.
Tip: Be sure to hold regular meetings and training sessions in regards to software updates, data backup plans, and overall security measures. When you create a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace, you will be able to implement a more effective, proactive strategy.
Step 2: Create and Implement Your Strategy
In order to create a solid cybersecurity strategy, you need to first be mindful of vulnerabilities.
For example, what threats do you currently face in relation to network security? How can you perform your due diligence in regards to cloud security or application security? Do I have the right hardware and software in place to adequately defend my data?
These are the types of questions you must ask yourself.
These elements will coincide with your disaster recovery plan, which you can read all about here. To ensure best practices, depending on your industry, you can rely on some of the latest industry standards, including ISO/IEC 27001 and HIPAA.
Tip: It is important that you customize your cybersecurity strategy based on the specific threats and vulnerabilities your company faces. In the latest framework, presented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, you may view key areas to consider (in addition to suggested guidelines).
Step 3: Monitor and Test Your Infrastructure
Creating a cybersecurity strategy is only half the battle. In order to ensure that it’s solid, you must monitor its activity and perform regular tests to ensure that it works. While monitoring your IT infrastructure, be sure to generate incident reports that showcase unusual activity.
By building a threat intelligence base, you will gain greater insight and improve your ongoing strategy. Remember, as technology continues to evolve, new threats will likely surface. Your cybersecurity strategy will need to adapt to these changes, improving overall risk management.
In addition, you must implement a comprehensive response plan — just in case a breach does occur. Once you have developed your disaster plan, you should run a drill to better understand and/or refine your current procedures.
Tip: If you discover a potential risk, it is important that you have a response checklist prepared. For example, you should record the date and time that the potential breach was discovered, before re-securing the equipment or systems in question. To ensure that no data is lost, always follow the 3-2-1 backup rule prior to any problematic incidents.
AppSolute Protects SMBs Around the Clock
As Neil Rerup, famed cybersecurity architect, once said, “True cybersecurity is preparing for what’s next, not what was last.”
At the end of the day, everyone is at risk when it comes to cybersecurity. As an SMB, it’s imperative that you take action before a problem arises, as a data breach could potentially put you out of business.
If you have any questions regarding your company’s security needs, please contact us today. We can work to protect your data and your clients with next-gen solutions and experience technicians.