Whether your company is still on the rise or you already have an international presence, cybersecurity concerns can pose a serious risk to your ongoing growth.
According to CPO Magazine, almost 60% of companies have experienced some form of cybersecurity incursion including phishing and social engineering attacks, while small businesses make up 13% of the total cyber crime market on the global level. This makes the addition of a concrete cybersecurity strategy pivotal for your venture going forward. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can write the perfect cybersecurity strategy for your business in order to protect your employees and clients from malicious attacks.
Reasons to Implement a Cybersecurity Strategy
Before we dive into specific tips and guidelines, let’s briefly touch on why exactly you should aim to write a cybersecurity strategy for your venture. The concept of internet viruses is familiar to anyone who ever used a computer to access the web. Their sole purpose is to damage, delete or hold your files for ransom, depending on the severity of the malware you’ve encountered.
It is very little you can do in terms of preventing a cybersecurity data breach from the social engineering standpoint. However, I believe that proper software protection, employee education, and constant system vetting can minimize the risks to a point close to zero.
Depending on the industry in which your business operates, your coworkers or employees might not be as versed in cybersecurity or tech-savvy enough to navigate the web during their work hours and avoid malicious content. In this regard, the advantages a cybersecurity strategy can bring to your venture include but are not limited to:
● Preemptive protection of your business’ reputation and industry authority
● Increased sophistication and frequency of hackers and virus writers
● The general safety of your files, client contracts, and ongoing projects
● High return on initial investment has given the nature of security breach costs
● Stricter international security requirements and regulations (such as GDPR)
Cybersecurity Strategy Guidelines
1. Assess your Venture’s Needs
The first order of business in terms of writing and implementing a cybersecurity strategy for your venture is to assess the current situation of your business’s security protocols. Your systems might be compromised by malicious software or files without you knowing, so you should make sure to vet your system carefully before moving forward.
You can use tools such as Malwarebytes to scrub your systems clean of any form of malicious files currently residing on your office computers. Platforms such as Evernote and BestEssayEducation can be used to write down and keep track of any harmful files or data you’ve encountered during your initial sweep. Once you get a better idea of how safe or unsafe your systems are at the moment, you should take those parameters into consideration in your cybersecurity strategy writing process going forward.
2. Choose a Reliable Antivirus Solution
The next step in writing and implementing your venture’s cybersecurity strategy is to choose an antivirus solution capable of filling your needs. Antivirus solutions are dime a dozen on the market and to choose the right one, you can ask yourself and your coworkers several simple yet essential questions:
● What is your business’ scale and how many employees do you have?
● What are your business’ market and infrastructural expansion plans?
● How often do you receive spam with malicious content targeted at your venture?
● What kind of a budget can you allocate to cybersecurity solutions?
Jamie McDowell, IT Specialist at Is Accurate spoke on the matter briefly: “In practice, the best antivirus software is the one that will work autonomously, in the background, without bothering your coworkers with pop-ups. Make sure to choose a solution that comes from a reputable brand and offers up-to-date protection – the rest is history.”
In that aspect, platforms such as Norton and Avast offer different plans and subscription models that can be retrofitted to your venture’s needs. Look for the best antivirus solution that suits your style of LAN network management, intranet, as well as data protection and monitoring and you will significantly upgrade your venture’s cybersecurity then and there.
3. Develop a Password System
Computer and data passwords are typically what makes or breaks a cybersecurity strategy. This means that you should pay close attention to the way your coworkers or employees use and store passwords on their work stations. Ideally, you should create a password system that is unique to your business and not allow employees to create their own passwords for several reasons. People are prone to password patterns which rely on personal association such as phone numbers, dates of birth, names of loved ones, etc.
To avoid this, you can create a password system which relies on alpha-numeric and special characters in an encrypted format known only to the IT department. Internally, you can rely on tools such as Hemingway to write and format your password solutions before handing them out to coworkers. Emphasize the need to memorize passwords and not store them on local drives or home computer to increase your venture’s cybersecurity even further.
4. Create Data Storage Backups
Data storage and its cyber vulnerability are one of the major points of contempt in regards to implementing protective measurements. According to Small Biz Trends, the malware that gives hackers backdoor access to corporate data accounts for 50% of documented cybersecurity breaches with more than 330 bots performing around 62 attacks daily in 2018.
In order to protect your files as best as you can, you should sweep your files and create data backups on a regular basis. Cleaned files should be kept in a safe storage space of your choosing and depending on your business’ scale and resources, you can opt for one (or more) of several choices:
● Physical backups through external hard-drives or optical storage devices
● Cloud-storage platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox (separate of main accounts)
5. Get Everyone up to Speed
Lastly, social engineering attacks are the majority of corporate security breaches. No matter how good your antivirus protection may be or how well you’ve defined your password system, all it takes is for Joe or Joana to click on the wrong link online. This can be avoided in several ways and all of them include informing and educating employees about cybersecurity threats and what they can do to avoid them.
Talk to your management about organizing once-a-month or as-required seminars and meetings with employees about cybersecurity. Avoid sending emails or printed documents on the matter since they will most likely be buried under “more pressing” issues that arrive on a daily basis. Keep your eyes peeled for new threats on the cybersecurity market and make sure to inform your coworkers of their destructive in a professional and streamlined manner.
After all, chances are that you work in a corporate environment with people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Meet them halfway and discuss how you can help your company stay secure online and you will circumvent a majority of social engineering breaches before they happen.
Ongoing Cybersecurity (Conclusion)
The reality of the situation is that your job in implementing cybersecurity solutions to your venture will never really end. A new malware, spyware, and trojan viruses pop up on a daily basis and aim to breach corporate firewalls for one reason or another. Make sure that you are informed of the latest happenings on the cybersecurity scene and you will reach success in terms of protecting your venture, coworkers, and clients going forward.