While cybersecurity has been a trending topic for quite a while now, the urgency behind it has only heightened over time, especially with COVID and the push for keeping company data secure while employees work remote. Cybersecurity is an umbrella term for a lot of different security measures, but its primary goal is to protect from data breaches, data loss, cyber-attacks and secure data so it is only accessible by approved parties.
Cybersecurity has become a fundamental line item in many company’s budgets as security measures are only as secure as the weakest link which can be anything from the network equipment to individual employees. Many businesses wrongly assume they will not be the recipient of a targeted attack. In general, big companies allocate more budget towards security implementation and employee awareness training than smaller ones. Therefore, smaller companies tend to have a higher risk of attack since their vulnerabilities are easier to identify and expose.
Regardless, of company size, the cost of a data breach is staggering, and financial repercussions are not the only issue that arises. A ruined reputation makes attrition numbers spikes and customers immediately look for a more trusted solution. These short and long-term repercussions are preventable.
Common Questions Regarding Cybersecurity
1. What Protocols Should I Put in Place First If My Business Has Not Addressed Any Cybersecurity Initiatives?
Today, most access problems originate from weak authentication. Implementing both a thorough password policy and multi-factor authentication for all areas offering such function should be utilized. Always have an active firewall in place, and always have anti-malware running as well.
2. How Do I Start to Budget for Cybersecurity?
This will vary heavily. Identify the goals individually, research, and estimate pricing to make them happen. Once you have a full list, look at how much money is available, do not be surprised if this takes multiple budgetary cycles to achieve all the goals. Baby steps are still progress. Alternatively, some cybersecurity-as-a-service offerings cover all these items at a far greater discount than implementing them individually.
3. How Often Should My Company Participate in Internal and/or External Security Scans?
Vulnerability scans should occur at least as often as your patching schedule runs, or monthly, whichever is more frequent. This will allow you to track remediation progress as patches are applied.
4. How Do I Best Educate My Employees About Cybersecurity?
Security Awareness programs are often required for businesses handling any sensitive data or technologies. These courses are designed specifically to address gaps in most company’s security policies and best practices.
5. What Steps Do I Follow If Company Data Has Been Compromised?
In most cases, shutting down all endpoints, servers, and external network access is a solid first step. Following this, leave the machines powered off and off the network until a specialist in remediation can be engaged to determine the extent of the damage.
In the end, there is no one-shoe fits all solution for cybersecurity. However, it is important to start with an internal and external security scan to find vulnerabilities for your company and be able to put a remediation plan in place to address them. Start somewhere as hindsight is 20/20 and you do not want to look back and wish you had done something sooner.