These two measures are at the heartbeat of any organization. You’ve worked hard to grow your business and keep it profitable. Something is missing. That something is cybersecurity in which every employee is aware and involved. Having the right cybersecurity talent, processes and procedures in place before your business goes off the rails is vital to ensure everything you spent the last several years building up, doesn’t crumble before your eyes.
If you know how to recover from cybersecurity attacks and you’re sure you can recover all of your data and pick where you left off before the attack, and your employees are trained, then no need to read any further! Reality is there are so many ways of an attack that no one is an expert in recovering. Even the best preparation for an attack may be challenged, but experts will tell you the best-known preparation is prevention and avoidance. An attack could result in a very daunting and tireless effort with unknown results. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small and midsized businesses that are hacked go out of business within 6 months.
Let’s take an in-depth look at both and how they intersect.
First: Start with Your Business Processes
At the heart of every business, there are things you must do to bring in revenue. You put in place procedures for two reasons: Accountability and Scalability. Focusing exclusively on growth (i.e., sales targets, opening in new markets) can be difficult without a clearly defined plan.
It’s important to take a holistic approach to avoid cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Map out every process and look for weaknesses, especially where sensitive data can be exposed if it falls into the wrong hands.
This audit requires the following:
Document when each activity starts and ends
What the outcomes are
When and who makes the decisions
Ideally, this process will identify areas where things are either paper or process intensive. However, before you automate or streamline anything, you must define the cybersecurity risks.
Second: Inventory BYODs and Beware of Shadow IT
Employees are putting increasing pressure on their employers to allow them to use their own devices when accessing company applications and data. In areas where the CIO or department haven’t approved BYODs, it may be happening despite mandates that state otherwise. Shadow IT is the use of devices, software, and applications without explicit IT department approval. It has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of the cloud. From these devices, some data breaches have occurred.
Third: Implement a Good Cybersecurity Strategy
According to Hiscox, a cybersecurity insurance company, roughly 47% of U.S. small businesses had at least one cyber attack last year, and 44% had two to four attacks.
To prevent one from happening to your organization, we recommend the following:
Make sure all software, antivirus software, and firewalls are up to date. Outdated software, including and especially Windows 7 (no longer supported January 2020), will leave the door wide open for data vulnerabilities.
Establish a password policy. Strong passwords that are at least ten characters long with upper and lower case, special characters and numbers, are the best.
Train employees about phishing scams. Don’t do this once – it must be an ongoing process as hackers find new ways to clickbait your staff.
Hire an outside firm to: Hacking needs to be performed from the outside by security experts to be sure no vulnerabilities are present in hardware, software, and policies. Don’t leave your business in the hands of “I would have never thought of that”. A hacker lives and breathes hacking – you don’t.
Complete a vulnerability assessment. This assessment should include all threats in the cloud, with mobile devices, and your data.
Conduct ongoing employee training. It must include BYOD policies, password guidelines, phishing and consequences of violating policies.
Remember, cybersecurity isn’t one and done.
Consider hiring one or more contract consultants to keep up on assessments, audits, testing, and regulations. This person can be onsite as a contract employee or manage your account as part of our managed services offering.
EIS can provide you with the proper technology solutions, recommend colleagues that can write your policies, and map out plans for continuous improvement.
Business process and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand. Understand your processes first, make sure you have a clear path to automation, and use policies, procedures and outside help to ensure your data is secure.
Exodus Integrity Services Has An Unique Advantage
Our IT Consulting Team is well versed in IT infrastructure, software development, and cybersecurity at the forefront of industry trends and state/federal regulations.