As cyber threats evolve, a proactive approach is key to staying ahead. This includes a comprehensive risk assessment and regular updates to reduce vulnerabilities.
Educating staff on identifying and mitigating workplace risks is another vital part of a successful security strategy. In addition, ensuring that third-party vendors follow best practices can help mitigate the risk of data breaches.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is an essential part of your overall cybersecurity strategy. It’s vital to identify threats and hazards and determine how much of a threat each poses. The next step is analyzing the consequences of each potential threat. This includes assessing whether the threat could result in a data breach, compromised personal information, or harm to customers or your organization.
The final step is finding temporary (short-term) and permanent solutions to mitigate risks. This may include patching software, implementing new IT policies, or creating a more secure network. It could also involve accepting a risk if unavoidable, as long as it falls within established tolerance levels.
It’s also important to note that cyberattacks are continuous, so your team must continuously evaluate and update your cybersecurity systems. This includes staying abreast of regulatory changes, assessing new vendors, and monitoring environments to ensure internal controls align with outside expectations. Additionally, make sure your team has a clear plan to contain threats and minimize damage in the event of a breach.
Educate Your Staff
The second step in cybersecurity risk management is ensuring that your staff knows the risks and follows recommended best practices. This can be achieved through a range of methods, including regular communication about the importance of data protection.
Employees must be encouraged to report any security breaches or unusual behaviour without fear of repercussions. This will allow the company to minimize the impact of a cyber-attack.
Additionally, employees must be trained to check emails, links, and files for viruses before clicking on them. This is because cyber attacks are not limited to one device – once a worker’s device is infected, it can pass the virus onto other devices in the business, resulting in serious damage.
For this reason, it is also worth reminding employees to use strong passwords, encrypt data, and use VPNs for remote working. It is also a good idea to introduce a password manager to help them generate and store secure passwords. Businesses must also be aware of the risks posed by third-party vendors and engage in vendor risk management.
Adhere to an Established Cybersecurity Framework
Using a pre-established cybersecurity framework provides a useful guide to help you meet industry standards. Cybersecurity frameworks are a great way to demonstrate that your business takes security seriously.
Cybersecurity frameworks usually include a core that lists desired cybersecurity outcomes and implementation tiers. They also include profiles that offer specific paths to the core’s listed results depending on your organization’s needs and other considerations.
A common example of a cybersecurity framework is PCI DSS, designed to ensure that companies that process credit card payments keep customer data secure. Another is HITRUST CSF, which helps healthcare organizations manage third-party risk and comply with regulations. Other popular cybersecurity frameworks include NERC-CIP, which is designed to help power and utility companies reduce third-party risks related to bulk electricity systems.
After identifying your business’s vulnerabilities, you can take action to mitigate them. This may involve transferring or sharing the risk with a third party, such as through outsourcing or insurance. It may also involve modifying the risk’s likelihood or impact, such as implementing security controls.
Implement Incident Response Plans
Once you have your defenses in place and employees trained, it’s important to have a plan of action in the event that an attack does occur. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a robust incident response process should consist of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks. This includes creating playbooks that help guide your SOC on triaging various types of incidents and what evidence should be collected.
Another key step is continuous monitoring to detect potential threats in real time and respond quickly. This requires leveraging advanced threat intelligence security information and events management systems. Additionally, it’s critical to evaluate third-party relationships regularly. Doing so helps to minimize the risk of a breach caused by unprotected external controls. It’s also crucial to perform regular threat exercises, such as wargaming attack scenarios, to test and refine your incident response processes. Clearly defining communication channels and establishing who should receive incident comms (this could change depending on the type of incident) will also help your organization to communicate effectively during an attack.
Engage Cybersecurity Experts
Cybersecurity experts have the experience and knowledge to assess your business’s risks and develop strategies that will help prevent threats from occurring. This will ensure your business takes the right measures to mitigate risk and comply with regulatory requirements.
Cyberattacks are a growing concern for businesses. Data breaches and attacks are more common than ever before. The average business loses PS3 million to a security incident, according to IT Governance. And that’s before considering the cost of legal action and damage to reputation.
A well-rounded cybersecurity strategy is critical for all businesses. It’s important to train employees on best practices for online behavior, update software with a regular cadence, and use strong authentication tools to limit the attack surface.
It’s also essential to set expiring passwords and accounts to prevent stale accounts from accessing sensitive information. Be sure to revoke access and credentials when an employee leaves the company. This will prevent them from using their former employer’s systems to take confidential information to a competitor or malicious party. VPNs are also vital, as they encrypt internet traffic and make it more difficult for hackers to intercept sensitive information.