Technology has become an integral part of business. Emerging and rapidly changing technological innovations have allowed businesses to expand their markets, diversify distribution channels, improve efficiency, streamline processes, and save on costs.
However, since technological advancement has brought tremendous gains to business, it has also brought a whole new field of challenges. Challenges in the form of digital vulnerabilities that are making it increasingly difficult to protect data.
According to the 2019 AON report on cybersecurity, as businesses move to a digital-first approach, the rapid enhancements and changes in technologies have resulted in an increased number of touchpoints in which cybercriminals can access a business.
Such challenges, coupled with evolving laws and regulations, have made it necessary for business leaders to start paying attention.
A cybercriminal gaining access to I.T. systems can cause irreparable harm to a company. A single successful security breach and theft of data can result in legal liability, financial consequences, and reputational damage.
One critical question that every business should ask itself is: how resilient is the business against digital vulnerabilities?
Business leaders must continuously re-evaluate their I.T. security and data privacy strategies.
The following article provides an overview of six steps that a business can take to prevent, detect, and respond to digital risks.
1. Understand What Is Important
The first step is to gain an understanding of what your digital assets are. You’ll do this by conducting a mapping exercise of the company’s software, hardware, processes, data, and products/services. The mapping should include all third parties who manage and provide data and systems on behalf of the business.
The exercise involves the classification and ranking of digital assets in terms of how critical the assets are. This will help determine the volume of data, type of data, which data is critical, and what needs protection.
After the mapping exercise, it is important to conduct a threat analysis, which will enable the business to identify sources of threats, likely attack scenarios, and the best response plans for each threat identified.
If this sounds like something too far outside your wheelhouse, an I.T. managed service provider with expertise in security can assist you in this step.
2. Develop an I.T. Security Policy and Plan
An I.T. security policy provides a clear, well-defined source of guidance, procedures, and regulations related to the company’s digital assets.
It defines the I.T. infrastructure, resource requirements, what is acceptable behavior, roles and responsibilities, regulatory compliance, technical configurations and parameters, process workflows, preventative, detective, and response procedures.
Once the policy is approved, then an I.T. Security Plan is developed. This plan can include several controls including:
3. Build Employee Awareness
Employees actually pose the greatest threat to security when it comes to a breach. They are the easiest avenue through which an attack can take place. This can happen through various means, such as phishing emails, being lax in following control processes, weak passwords, and lost, stolen, or unencrypted portable and mobile devices.
It is important to educate your staff on their role as a critical line of defense.
Continuous awareness programs should touch on the company’s security policies, each employee’s roles and responsibilities, social media safety, proper use of passwords, network security, the protection of sensitive data, breach detection, regulatory compliance, and reporting of suspicious activity.
4. Perform Vulnerability Tests
Once an established policy and plan is in place, it is important to conduct continuous vulnerability and security controls testing.
This can be done by way of conducting simulated attacks. Such simulations will assist you in identifying threats in the system which can be exploited; these tests can highlight the gaps in your security and enable you to take appropriate corrective action.
Regular testing and evaluation of your network and security is very important, as threats keep emerging and changing.
5. Be Ready to Respond
In the event that an attack occurs, it is important to be able to respond quickly. As a company, it is vital to have in place an incident response plan.
This plan will define the process to be followed from the moment an incident is identified and to the point at which the incident can be deemed to be resolved.
Your plan should also establish the criteria for performing investigations, all external and internal communications that need to happen in the event of a security breach, and any legal or public relations steps that will need to be taken.
6. Strategically Leverage Third-Party Service Providers
The dynamic nature of technology often means businesses might not have the time and resources to keep pace with the changes. That is where third-party service providers come in.
A well-staffed, reliable third-party service provider acts as an indispensable business partner. Such providers allow your business to have access to experienced professionals who can quickly fill in the gap and ensure proactive I.T. security support to the business.
Do you need to address any vulnerabilities in your I.T.? At JMARK, we can help you do that.
With over 30 years of experience, we understand all aspects of digital security. Working hand in hand with you, our team of well-trained engineers will assist you in designing, developing, and implementing a robust I.T. security management program.
Contact us or give us a call at 844-44-JMARK to learn more about how our services and experience can put your I.T. infrastructure on lockdown.