Security breaches damage business reputations and cost millions. In fact, the average cost of a data breach is $1.3 million for enterprises and $117K for small and medium-sized businesses. Those kinds of costs can cripple and even collapse the most thriving of businesses.
Just because cyber security is important doesn’t mean it’s easy or cheap to implement. In fact, implementing proper cyber security protocols can be confusing and difficult without detailed planning and strategy.
Create a Plan
The first and most important step in implementing cyber security is to create a plan. Creating a strategy will help you determine which aspects of your business are secure and which areas require greater attention.
The best way to get started is to take inventory of the data your business creates, stores, and protects. Determining who has access to sensitive data, how it is stored and handled, and other data-storage related information will help you understand which aspects of your business are at risk.
Understanding infrastructure shortcomings will enable your firm to invest in areas that improve your security.
Not sure how to start your cyber security planning? The FCC is an invaluable resource that can help you get started.
Engage With Experts
A major component of cyber security planning should be consultation with experts. Security experts can help you identify at-risk areas of your infrastructure. What’s more, cyber security experts can recommend proper software and hardware upgrades as well as best practices for staff.
Experts can help you strategize the most effective cyber security solutions for your firm. From employee training, to risk assessments, to cloud migration, to software updates—cyber security experts will help you properly identify what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve your security protocols. Investing in expert help early can help you avoid costly errors later.
Create a Culture of Communication
Clear channels of communication are a cost-effective way to fight security breaches. According to research, more than half of cyber security experts feel their organizations’ security protocols don’t offer proper protection from cyber attacks.
What’s truly concerning is that those same professionals claim that executives in their firms fail to appreciate the value of proper security controls. In other words, executives aren’t listening to the clarion calls of their cyber security experts.
Setting up clear, consistent channels of communication between cyber security experts and those in charge can help avoid costly security breaches. Scheduling regular meetings between management, executives, and security experts creates an open dialogue that will help cut costs and improve security measures.
Training, Training, and More Training
Many security breaches are caused by user error. Training employees on cyber security best practices is a cost-effective way to avoid possible security breaches. Risky behaviors like opening emails from unknown senders, visiting non-work websites, downloading files onto company computers, and other practices can put your entire system at risk.
This is especially important considering the flexibility of the modern workplace. More than ever before, employees can work from virtually anywhere.
This freedom can improve productivity but can also put your server infrastructure at risk.
Ensure your staff understands the importance of following specific behaviors to minimize possible security breaches.
Training staff on best practices is not a one-time solution. You should employ regular training sessions with your staff to ensure best practices are consistently followed.
Revisit and Revise
Implementing cyber security is not a one-time proposition, it’s an ongoing strategy that requires flexibility and agility to remain effective. For that reason you need to regularly perform risk assessments to determine which aspects of your security protocols are working, which aspects need more attention, and possibly which aspects need to be replaced or eliminated.
Because security threats are constantly evolving, your security plan needs to evolve as well. Security works best when it is proactive. Revisiting and revising your security strategies not only ensures you employ the most effective security protocols it can also save your firm money.
The most effective, cost-saving strategies are the ones you employ before a situation arises. Starting now will help you put cyber security protocols into place that will help you minimize exposure to security breaches in the future.
Creating a plan, engaging experts, opening communication, training staff, and revising your strategy when necessary will help you implement cost-effective security measures you can count on. Don’t delay, start protecting your business assets now.
About the Author:
Stephanie Rowan is interested in understanding the intersection of technology, online security, and cybercrime. When not considering the impacts of cyber security, cloud computing, and mobile technology Stephanie enjoys running, poetry, and reading classic literature.