We all know that cybersecurity is important. But it’s not as simple as installing a few anti-virus programs and calling it a day. In order for you to truly protect your business and its data, you need to have a proactive cybersecurity plan in place. This plan will ensure that all of your most valuable assets are protected from cyber threats and that everyone within your organization understands how to respond when an incident does occur.
Understand your business operations.
The first step in building a proactive cybersecurity plan is to understand your business operations. Understanding what data is most important to your organization and where it’s stored will help you identify assets that need protection, as well as potential threats that could put those assets at risk.
If you’re not sure what data is most important, take time to think about how your company operates on a day-to-day basis–and how its employees might use technology in the course of their work. For example, if employees frequently use mobile devices for emailing or accessing other applications, consider whether those devices should be included in any security measures taken by IT teams (such as installing antivirus software).
Protect your most valuable assets.
While there are many aspects of your business that require protection, it’s important to identify the most valuable assets and focus your efforts on protecting them. This can be done using a risk-based approach–which means prioritising which assets to protect based on their value to the company, then implementing appropriate security controls for those assets.
For example, if your organisation stores personal data about customers or employees (such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers), then this type of information should receive top priority when it comes time to develop a cybersecurity plan.
Develop a plan for testing and responding to incidents.
Develop a plan for testing and responding to incidents.
- Understand the nature of your business operations, including the types of data you collect, store, and transmit.
- Understand the nature of the threats you face and how they could impact your organization if an incident occurred.
- Understand what cyber risks may exist within your organization (e.g., weak passwords) that need to be addressed in order for it to be more secure from attack or damage by an external threat such as malware infection or ransomware attack on critical systems/data.
- Develop a response plan that outlines how employees should respond when their network has been breached by hackers–or if there’s reason to believe one is imminent–and follow through with those processes during drills so everyone knows what he/she needs do when trouble strikes (or seems likely).
Have a data emergency preparedness plan in place.
- Define the problem before starting on a solution.
- Don’t worry about what other people’s goals are, and be ambitious but realistic with your own.
- Set tangible fitness goals that you could achieve in 3-6 months (for example: run 10 miles once per week).
Manage access control and authentication.
- Strong passwords are a must. A strong password is one that’s at least eight characters long and contains a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. It also should not be based on personal information such as your birthday or street address.
- Multi-factor authentication is crucial for keeping hackers out of your business’ networks. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) involves more than one step to confirm someone’s identity before granting access to sensitive data or systems–for example, requiring users to enter both their password and an additional code sent via text message before granting them access via email or other means.* Strong authentication protocols are essential for securing your network from unauthorized access.* Strong authentication tokens can help keep unauthorized people from accessing company resources without permission by using physical devices instead of passwords alone.* Strong authentication software works similarly by requiring users who want access into certain areas within an organization’s network system(s)–such as the HR department database containing sensitive employee information–to verify their identity through another form besides just entering in username/password combinations
Train employees on cybersecurity best practices.
Training employees on cybersecurity best practices is an essential part of a proactive plan. It’s important that your team understands the dangers of social engineering and phishing attacks, as well as ransomware, viruses and malware. They should also be trained on hacking techniques so they can spot them in action.
If you don’t have the time or resources to train your entire staff yourself–or if there are some topics that require more extensive knowledge than others–you can partner with an outside expert who can help you create a customized training program for your employees based on their roles within the business (e.g., IT professionals vs marketing specialists).
By being able to identify, assess, mitigate and recover from cyber threats, you will be able to keep your business safe from cyber attacks.
Cybersecurity is a process, not a one-time event. It involves identifying, assessing and mitigating the risks that your business faces from cyber threats.
It’s also important to understand that cybersecurity isn’t just about technology; it’s also about mindset and culture. In order for your organization to be truly secure against cyber attacks, everyone needs to have an understanding of their role in keeping your company safe from these threats–and that includes employees at all levels of your organization (including executives).
The first step to building a proactive cybersecurity plan is to understand your business operations. This means knowing what assets are most valuable, who has access to them and how they’re protected. Once you’ve identified these areas of concern, it’s time to develop strategies for testing and responding when incidents occur–and make sure employees know how important these steps are! Next up: Developing emergency preparedness plans for data loss or other cybersecurity events will help ensure that everyone knows what needs doing when disaster strikes