Every business, no matter its industry, needs to have a strong cybersecurity strategy. Bad actors are everywhere, and even if you do not work with highly sensitive information, hackers can still access bank account information and private details about your employees or customers, not to mention leak communications with your competitors or cause legal hassles.
But what exactly is a cybersecurity strategy, and how do you implement one? Firstly, a cybersecurity strategy is a system meant to protect your company from threats, identify potential bad actors, and repair damage from any intrusion into your system. It must be both responsive and all-inclusive, covering all of your assets and quickly shutting down threats whenever they appear. Today, we’ll go over the basics of developing a strong cybersecurity strategy that will ensure your company remains in operation no matter who threatens it.
Work With A Cybersecurity Consultant
Even if you have good IT support, they may not be familiar with all the nuances of cybersecurity, nor will they be able to perform the exhaustive assessments necessary to identify potential gaps in your policies.
As such, it’s a good idea to work with a cybersecurity services firm like GSI, as they will have the expertise necessary to guide your strategy based on their years of experience. With their assistance, you can prevent attacks and work quickly to repair any damage done by an intrusion.
Identify Industry-Specific Regulations
You need to be familiar with any specific regulations within your industry, as this should guide your approach to cybersecurity. For example, if you’re in healthcare, you must fully comply with HIPAA, which is meant to safeguard patient privacy. Nearly every industry has its own standards regarding what can and cannot be disclosed, as well as what types of security you must have in place to protect the privacy of your clients. With the help of your consultant, examine the relevant laws around data protection and shape your policy around these standards.
List All Your Assets and Identify Their Weaknesses
You can’t protect something if you’re not sure what it is. Things like network infrastructure, databases, and software systems all must be collated; you need to assess their specific risks and build this into your overall strategy. Don’t forget to include your human assets; unfortunately, employees are the most common cause of data breaches, as they may not be fully familiar with all the nuances of data security.
Conduct A Threat Assessment
Threats don’t just come from obvious places, such as hackers entering your systems. Things like social engineering – in other words, tricking employees into allowing access – or natural disasters can put your team at risk of data breaches or siphoning of company funds. A consultant can help you perform a comprehensive risk assessment, which can give you valuable insights into how to protect your systems from any manner of disaster.
Develop A List Of Policies
Once you know how what you have and how it might be endangered, create a set of policies. Your cybersecurity services team will be of great benefit here, as they will have worked with countless other companies and will provide a good framework for what should be included. Data encryption, access control, firewall maintenance, data backup, employee training, and incident response should all be included here. Your policy should also include how to ally with law enforcement and how to communicate data breaches to stakeholders.
Protocols should be as specific as possible; for example, explain what your firewalls are and how often they should be updated. Be sure to keep this information safe as well: you don’t want to create a playbook that could easily be used to break through all your defenses.
Train Employees On Your Policies
All your employees, even those outside the IT department, must understand how to implement and uphold your policies. This training should be department-specific and discuss how to identify suspicious behavior, what to do in the event of a data breach, and how to avoid common tactics like social engineering. Explain the importance of access control and why your employees’ passwords should be difficult to guess – and never shared.
Perform Regular Audits And Assessments
The work doesn’t stop when you’ve developed a robust policy and trained your employees on its use. To ensure compliance and check that all your systems are performing well, develop a schedule of routine maintenance and audits. This includes penetration testing for your firewalls, identifying suspicious behavior, and checking that your employees are adhering to the policies you have implemented. You should regularly update your defenses according to the newest threats; this is another place where a cybersecurity services company can be incredibly beneficial because its job is to stay up to date and keep clients safe from emerging attacks.
Cybersecurity is always evolving, but laying the groundwork is a crucial element of preventing dangerous intrusions and ensuring that your company is safe from attack. A consulting firm can help you implement strong policies that keep you, your data, and your employees secure no matter what may come. Assess your situation, build a policy according to your identified weaknesses, and inform your employees of cybersecurity dangers, and you’ll remain impenetrable to attack throughout the life of your business.