October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. There is no better time than now to increase your cybersecurity awareness and learn tips for protecting confidential data. In its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s goal is to ensure that all Americans have the resources needed to improve safety and security online.
Businesses that fail to protect customers’ data have the risk of losing confidence among consumers and opening themselves up to costly lawsuits. Here are some proactive steps your business can take to improve its cybersecurity smarts.
Conduct annual risk assessments
Conducting annual risk assessments is a necessity when shoring up your business’s sensitive data. The world of cybersecurity is fast-paced and ever-changing. What works now may no longer prove effective in the future.
Performing an annual risk assessment helps companies identify, manage, and safeguard their data and sensitive information vulnerable to a cyberattack. Risk assessments do the following:
- Inventory all systems and resources
- Identify potential weaknesses and threats
- Determine risk impact
- Develop cybersecurity controls
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the existing protocol
Cybersecurity should never be left to chance. Get ahead of the game by annually evaluating everything. It may seem exhaustive, but it is the best way to ensure sensitive data stays private.
Developing cybersecurity controls
Antivirus is not enough to protect your data and other sensitive information. Things like Endpoint protection, two-factor authentication, and mobile security policies such as encryption on laptops help businesses keep a tight rein on their data.
Some of the other cybersecurity tactics recommended for businesses include:
- Monitoring tools like endpoint monitoring, encryption software, firewalls, and packet sniffers work together to alert you when there is a potential threat.
- Password policies include frequently changing passwords and using two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized users from accessing data.
- Phishing simulation with reporting determines if your organization is vulnerable to phishing attempts
- Staff training is an essential component of any cybersecurity protocol. Human error causes 88 percent of all data breaches.
- User access control to folders and applications allows all users to log in to their computers using a standard user account. It gives users direct control of apps making system-level changes to their devices. Disabling user control makes your system vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Planning + strategy = year-round protection
Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done deal. It takes consistent effort from everyone on your team to keep sensitive data and other documents locked away from prying eyes. It is well worth the effort to examine your entire IT system, identify vulnerabilities, and craft a plan of action to address any weaknesses.
Businesses spend an average of $8.64 million recovering from data breaches. That is just the tip of the iceberg. A loss of confidence in customers and a damaged reputation can further eat into a business’s bottom line.
Cybersecurity is tricky because technology is in a constant state of fluctuation. All it takes is one weak point to undo an otherwise well-designed strategy. Expert assistance and guidance from a managed cyber security provider are always there if needed.
Boost your cybersecurity savvy with CTSI
CTSI offers IT support and solutions that go above and beyond to protect businesses and reduce the risk of their customers’ sensitive data being exposed to cyber thieves. We put security front and center to keep your business secure from the inside out. We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all answer to cybersecurity.
With careful planning and collaboration from a security team like CTSI, you can find the best way to safeguard your and your customers’ data. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business boost its cybersecurity smarts.