Taking the Offensive: How to Prepare for a Cybersecurity Threat

As the CIA investigates foreign election hacking and huge companies like Yahoo! fall victim to massive security breaches, it’s no wonder cybersecurity is top of mind for a lot of businesses. And the problem is only getting worse – hackers are now beginning to target smaller companies who may be less secure, making practically anyone a potential victim. Forbes is even calling Cybersecurity the biggest concern  of 2017.

You want to make sure your company is prepared in case of an attack, but where do you start? Here are a few suggestions.

Assess your risk. A comprehensive risk analysis is the first step toward cybersecurity best practices. Understanding where weaknesses may lie is the obvious benefit, but a risk analysis can also help leaders at your organization determine what level of risk are they comfortable taking. Recognizing that threshold can help you determine how much time and money you want to put towards cybersecurity.

Check the basics. Anti-virus software, use of firewalls, and patching on servers and routers are a few of the basic security standards. Be sure yours are all up to date and well tested. You may also consider adding a cyber policy through your insurance.

Set a Sensitivity Standard. As social media and mobile devices permeate our culture, many people have become less sensitive to the sharing of personal data and information. However, in the workplace, those standards should be clear and strict. HR and IT departments should be working together create information-sharing guidelines that protect against leaks, both malicious and incidental. For example, employees should never use their personal emails or mobile devices to conduct company business. Remember to include vendors and contractors on these guidelines, too.

Create a culture of security. Often, it isn’t outsiders, but a company’s own employees who are responsible for cyber-related security incidents. Although these threats are often unintentional, like clicking on a virus-laden link, it’s important to create a culture of security in order to eliminate insider misuse. Set good examples at all levels and make sure leadership is adhering to the push.

Cybersecurity is a shared risk – shared by employees, vendors, contractors, and business owners. But by working together, your organization can put up a strong offense against data breaches and cyber attacks.

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