As many larger enterprises are putting more resources into their cybersecurity infrastructure and threat prevention processes, smaller firms are now becoming the softer targets for cybersecurity criminals. Therefore, we think it’s critical to completely assess and mitigate cybersecurity threats before your company becomes compromised – and all the banks, investors, and customers hold you accountable for your loss.
How To Assess and Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks
However, you may not be aware as a business what happens to the information that your staff, clients, and suppliers have access to. Even now, you might not be able to tell with certainty whether your critical data is stored locally on PCs and servers, in the cloud, or on mobile devices. So, where do you start? We suggest beginning by identifying your specific cybersecurity risks.
Identify and Record Vulnerabilities
A risk assessment should be your first step to determine what makes your company appealing to cybercriminals (customer data is probably your biggest commodity at risk) and where your primary weaknesses are. For instance, consider whether you have a written policy for social media usage on any device (including personal devices used by employees) that connects to your company network. Some questions to think about include:
- Do you wipe hard drives of data before disposal?
- Do you provide internet safety training for your team?
- Do you require multi-factor authentication to access your network?
- When employees leave, do you permanently suspend their authentication credentials?
Research Internal and External Threats
Do your homework and get knowledgeable about the primary categories of cybercrime, as well as the methods, strategies, and tactics utilized to target businesses. And don’t just concentrate on the outside world. You should be aware that a disgruntled or heavily indebted employee has the potential to steal intellectual property or engage in cyber-enabled economic fraud as well. While the term “hacker” may conjure up images of a long-distance criminal living in some obscure part of the world, a person operating ransomware attacks from his bedroom or across the street can just as well happen, so you should also acknowledge all of the possibilities.
Perform the Necessary Risk Assessments
One simple way is to scan your network to see what services you are running, check to see whether your software is up to date. Your team could also search for known vulnerabilities using a growing variety of tools, many of which are free. Additionally, there are tools that will enable your IT administrator to employ brute-force attacks against your end users and run pre-defined penetrations against your own systems. You might want to take it a step further and hire an outside security expert like a “white-hat” hacker or, better yet, a proactive IT service provider like Tenace, to conduct penetration testing to evaluate your company’s resilience.
Identify Potential Business Impacts from Cybersecurity Threats
Conduct a thorough gap analysis and impact study to identify “who and what” would be impacted by a cyberattack on your company. Also record any potential financial, operational, and reputational repercussions and damages that could occur. Most of the expenses associated with cybersecurity incidents and subsequent business interruptions should already be well-defined within your business continuity plan and mitigation strategy. If not, a specialist like Tenace can assist you in this process and help you gather data from various areas of your business before any disruption occurs.
Prioritize your Risk Responses
Now you can begin to prioritize how to remedy any immediate security issues after you have a better understanding of the potential effects of a cyberattack on your company. If you alter the security of your system in any way, test it first to make sure the gaps have been filled and no other systems have been adversely affected. Make sure regulations and best practices are outlined in policies because people might end up being your biggest security risk. Then, actively implement a program to educate personnel about the dangers associated with today’s networked business processes.
Tenace – Risk Advisory, Cybersecurity and Compliance Services
Since there is no way to completely safeguard your company against attempted cybercrime, you must always be ready for an attack. The first step to improving your organization’s cybersecurity practices is to understand your adversary and its techniques as explained above. Tenace has a whole line of services geared toward making sure your business has a strong cybersecurity foundation. Contact us for a consultation today.