The growing sophistication of cyber threats can be particularly devastating to a small business. There is no denying the fact that small to medium size businesses are just as likely a target as large enterprise. The criminals are after your critical data and they’re targeting your people to get it. Unfortunately end users are easy prey for cybercriminals. People are the common denominator in most cyber intrusions because they are increasingly exposed to phishing schemes and ransomware attacks via the most common threat gateway: email.
With education and awareness employees can become a front line of defense against threats to critical business data and systems. A security awareness training program for your team is a great place to start. It creates awareness and communications through ongoing training solutions embedded into employees daily activities. This works to minimize human error by keeping security at the forefront while staying compliant with industry regulations or state laws.
The National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA’s) CyberSecure My Business™ is a national program helping small and medium-sized businesses learn to be safer and more secure online. They’ve outlined 5 actionable steps to take to better secure your business and promote security awareness.
- Learn how to identify the assets and systems that are critical to your business–would have difficulty operating if they were lost our compromised and could be a high value target for cybercriminals. Put appropriate policies and systems in place to keep your digital assets secure. This is also a good time to establish cybersecurity policies for BYOD and mobile/remote employees.
- Build your cyber protections around these assets first as you create a trajectory forward to protect your entire business. The goal is to build a culture of cybersecurity that includes employees knowing how to protect themselves and the business and understanding the cyber risks as your business grows or adds new technologies or functions. Make privacy a top priority and educate staff about their roles and the value of protecting consumer and employee information. This step is also where a comprehensive security awareness program is critical.
- Detection is all about knowing when something has gone wrong. We have fire alarms in our businesses and homes that alert us to problems. In cybersecurity, the faster you know about an incident, the quicker you can mitigate the impact and get back to normal operations. Security technologies play an integral role in prevention and detection.
- Even when we take all the precautions we can, incidents can still happen. Being prepared to respond in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner will reduce risks to your business and send a positive signal to your customers and employees. Therefore, planning for a response is critical. Another proactive measure to consider is a Cyber Insurance policy which could help prevent significant financial loss from a cyber incident.
- The final step is the recovery efforts that will follow a response to a cyber incident. Like the response step, recovery requires planning. The goal of recovery is to move from the immediate aftermath of a cyber incident to full restoration of normal systems and operations. A thorough data backup and recovery solution that provides immediate copies of your info means you can retrieve your files quickly and minimizes downtime if you fall victim to a cyber attack.
Awareness, education, planning and implementation are key to preventing cyber threats. The strategic and comprehensive outline above is ideal but can be overwhelming to implement in a thorough and effective manner with out the proper resources. If your business is in need of a professional evaluation for cybersecurity planning and solutions Ancero can provide a complimentary consultation. We can help you start from scratch or just fill in the cyber security services you might be missing in your current processes. Let’s talk!