Heed These 5 Cybersecurity Best Practices
It’s never too early to begin thinking about what cybersecurity risks face your business. Cybercriminals are always lurking out there, and even the slightest mishap on the part of your organization can alert cybercriminals to a potential vulnerability.
Here are five things you can do to protect your business from hackers:
- Implement best practices and industry standards rather than relying solely on compliance or certifications. Regulations are good guidelines, but businesses can, and should, do more that goes beyond those requirements. Tailor security best practices for your company’s specific needs so that you can be proactive in fighting potential threats, rather than doling out resources as a reactive response to new threats.
- Engage your entire leadership team in cybersecurity and risk-management conversations. CEO’s can protect themselves only to the extent that employees are aware of the risk involved in clicking on an unknown link, or responding to a risky email request, for example. Therefore, executives need to construct policy from the top down to ensure that everyone is aware of the action items related to their part in mitigating cybersecurity risks. A top-down policy outlines roles and mitigates the power struggles that can inhibit IT security.
- Process. Process. Process. Make sure you have created a repeatable standard process in which to cross-train your staff to perform incident and risk management as an institutional practice. We’ve seen too many cases where only a few employees in the company have the expertise in key subject areas. This presents a huge risk to the company.
- “You can’t move what you don’t measure.” Your process must be measurable and meaningful for it to be effective. An example of a meaningful metric is measuring the amount of time it takes for your company to identify, respond to and fix a pivotal vulnerability in your structure. By reducing the number of hours (or for some companies, days) which the process takes, you can effectively mitigate risk across your whole enterprise. An example of an ineffective metric would be to measure how many alerts your CEO receives in regard to potential vulnerabilities. Such information is useless in terms of relevancy and application to this particular instance.
- Implement situational awareness of cybersecurity dangers. Subscribe to notifications (e.g., National Cyber Awareness System products, MITRE Common Vulnerability Exposures, CERT Coordination Center Vulnerability Notes) to stay up-to-date on the latest in developing cybersecurity threats.
If you don’t know what to look out for, you certainly won’t know how to protect yourself from it. Make a list of the top three cybersecurity threats your organization has recently faced (e.g., phishing emails, malware, ransomware) and distribute the results to your entire staff to help boost their role in minimizing cybersecurity risk.
At the end of the day, there are no easy solutions or quick-fix safety nets and although this list is a great place to start, it is far from exhaustive.
RCS Professional founder and CEO Jeffrey Tebele has provided IT support services to businesses in the New York tri-state area. After graduating from Boston University with a business degree in finance, he found great success in servicing and repairing PCs and printers at Rockwell Computer and Software; which was a partnership with his brothers Charlie and Elliot. He started RCS Professional Services in 1999 with a focus on technology solutions for individual clients. Follow him on LinkedIn or @RCSProServices.