he 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. The risk of an attack has increased 60% over the last 12 months. Cyber-threats carry operational and financial risk, and while headlines focus on the attacks of larger organizations, 1/3 of attacks are directed at business 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 a Disaster Recovery 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.
- Cyber-Security Insurance
- 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.
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.