Every business owner knows that they can become a victim of a cyber attack but it’s not always clear how to protect against a breach until it is too late. Taking the steps beforehand to understand how you can avoid a disaster is key to keeping your business safe.
While your IT company may claim that you are protected, you need cybersecurity specialists who use sophisticated tools to track cybercriminals 24/7 in order to prevent devastating data breaches. However, the first step to securing your business begins with you. Here are a few critical steps you can take today for protecting your organization from tomorrow’s cyber attacks:
One of the biggest issues that businesses run into is operating on outdated systems and software. These can lead to security exploits and rejected insurance claims. While it is easy to forget about during daily operations, it is important that your computers along with any compliance codes are kept up-to-date throughout the company. The solution can be as simple as updating to the latest software that contains security updates. But be sure to apply these patches across all computers company wide. \
Audit Your Systems
While there are many business operations that fall outside of your control, take the time to audit your systems and understand what is happening in each sector. A system wide audit is one of the best ways to gain control over your standard operating procedures and finances while mitigating potential vulnerabilities. Multiple times a year, conduct a business wide audit to assess and optimize recurring operations, while patching up potential security vulnerabilities.
Vulnerability Management and Penetration Testing
Instead of relying on your IT company to make decisions for you, gain the resources you need to make educated risk decisions to protect your business. Making the right decisions begins with vulnerability management and penetration testing by a cybersecurity specialist.
For actionable insights into your security, a penetration test must be conducted by experienced 3rd party security specialists who attempt to exploit and access your network through the same tools used by hackers. Credentialed specialists then analyze any vulnerabilities and provide an actionable report with recommendations for improving your security immediately. This flip side is vulnerability management, or monitoring and identifying cyber vulnerabilities on a rolling basis while taking the necessary steps to fix discovered risks to decrease your vulnerabilities and help prevent future attacks.
Conduct Annual Security Risk Assessments
Alongside a system audit, it is critical to perform a security risk assessment to identify where your business can be breached. Most businesses forget to assess their security risk until it is too late, so being proactive through technical evaluations drastically lowers the potential for a catastrophic shutdown caused by a data breach.
If you have employees who work from home, consider their network’s security and the exposure of company data. Remote access is one of the hackers’ favorite ways to successfully breach your system. A security risk assessment can identify where exploits may occur and secure them before it is too late.
People are Your Power
A key vulnerability for your company is a breach caused by one of your employees. “Click risk,” or suspicious links disguised as authentic messages, presents a major risk when employees don’t know how to identify and stop them. Take the time to train your employees on the latest security practices so that they can be empowered to stop a potential security breach before it happens.
Business protocols should inform your staff on what to do when discovering a suspicious link or potential vulnerability, but these protocols should also include why it matters. By implementing SOPs (standard operating procedures) and committing to them, your employees will have the tools and knowledge to not only protect your business, but achieve success in daily operations.
Keep your Business Secure with Black Talon
Implementing effective risk management strategies and combining these with cyber coverage is the best approach to mitigating the impact of an attack against a business. Most attacks can be prevented when your business works in tandem with an IT and cybersecurity company to build a resilient security system tailored for your business.
If you don't have a full cybersecurity plan that includes vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, training and a security assessment, we should talk.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your current and future security needs.