Cyber attacks are the fastest growing crime in the U.S. and they are increasing in size, sophistication, and cost. How are you securing your digital life?
Companies of All Sizes
Cyber attacks occur every day. If you are a part of a small to midsize company, you’re a direct target for hackers. Small and midsize firms fall victim to the vast majority of data breaches because they tend to:
Lacksufficient security measures and trained personnel
- Hold data that’s valuable to hackers (e.g., credit card numbers, protected health information)
- Neglect to use an offsite source or third-party service to back up their files or data, making them vulnerable to ransomware
- Connect to the supply chain of a larger company, and can be leveraged to break in
The most recent report by Cisco and National Center for the Middle Market evalulated data from 1,377 CEOs of small and midsize businesses. 62% responded that their firms do not have an up-to-date or active cybersecurity
This is alarming since the cost of a cyberattack can put a company out of business. According to the report, 60% of small and midsize businesses who get hacked go out of business within six months of the cyberattack.
Build a Cybersecurity Strategy
These four steps will assist you with building a cybersecurity strategy that keeps hackers out of your business.
1. Determine Your Company’s Current Cybersecurity Status
It’s time to conduct an informal audit to assess the cybersecurity of your business. Bring together the members of your senior leadership team, board of directors, and investors for this evaluation.
Questions to Ask: Is anyone in charge of our cybersecurity? What defenses do we already have in place? Is our strategy comprehensive and coordinated? If not, can we pinpoint our weak spots?
2. Identify the Key Person Accountable for Your Cybersecurity
By bringing in leaders from across your organization such as human relations, marketing, finance, etc. to get everyone discussing about cybersecurity. Essential leaders to the conversation will be your IT director, your lawyer, and your accountant.
Questions to Ask: Who should be responsible for our cybersecurity? What process can we implement to ensure accountability? How can we communicate and increase awareness about cybersecurity in our different departments and teams?
3. Take Inventory of Your Assets, Determine Their Value, & Prioritize Your Most Critical Assets
Identify the “crown jewels” in your company, whether those are employee records, intellectual property or customer data. Recognize that you will never be 100% safe from an attack, so prioritizing areas of defense is important.
Questions to ask: What are the most important assets we need to protect? Customer data? Intellectual property? Employee records? Can we measure the degree of confidentiality, integrity, availability, and safety of our most critical assets?
4. Decide What Business Capabilities & Cybersecurity Measures You Want to Manage Yourself vs. Outsourcing
Consider whether it makes sense to outsource certain aspects of your business to a cloud-based system to increase your security. C
Questions to ask: What aspects of our business–such as order fulfillment–should we handle internally versus outsourcing to a third party (e.g., Amazon, Cisco, Google)? Should we outsource our cybersecurity to a third-party service? Should we use a fractional CIO model and seek out cybersecurity consulting? Or should we handle the entire process ourselves?
Security Awareness Training
Implement a cybersecurity awareness training, such as
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