With high-profile hacks on Twitter and Google in the news, cybersecurity is once more at the forefront of many businesses’ agenda. However, for many small and medium-sized organizations, the implications of a hack on these tech giants aren’t obvious. Sure, hackers might target the titans of the digital world. Surely they’re going to ignore a small business like your own?
Wrong. Small businesses are as prone to cyberattacks as any other and by some estimates, there are around 10,000 attacks daily on small businesses. Just because these attacks don’t make the news, it doesn’t mean you can ignore cybersecurity. Read on to discover exactly how to plan, organize, and produce an effective cybersecurity policy that will keep your organization safe from these digital threats.
Understanding Your Cybersecurity Aims
Undoubtedly there are already some cybersecurity measures in place at your business, from spam filters to anti-virus software. The first step to total cybersecurity is understanding how articulating your cybersecurity plan protects your business.
A cybersecurity plan exists as a written document containing a complete account of your businesses processes and measures that operate to protect you from digital threats. By producing a cybersecurity plan, collating a thorough account of your cybersecurity protocols, you demonstrate a vision of cybersecurity that leaves no stone unturned. “Whilst many organizations implement some cybersecurity tools, too few weave these threads into a cohesive strategy,” says Karin Henderson, a journalist at PhD Writers and PaperFellows. “Writing your cybersecurity plan ensures your digital processes are secure.”
Identifying Security Threats and Digital Assets
The first step to undertake when building your cybersecurity policy is to appraise the digital assets your firm has accumulated and then identify the potential threats to these assets. Your organization’s assets could be diverse, and even abstract data such as customer credit card details need to be treated as a valuable asset that could be vulnerable to attack.
Contextualizing your organization in the digital world is important as this will throw into focus exactly what cybercriminals might identify as an opportunity in your business. By identifying the ways in which criminals can approach your organization and its assets you’ll be taking the first step in defending yourself from harm.
Once you’ve developed an understanding of what counts as an asset in your organization – using a broad definition that includes hackers’ perspectives – you can produce a risk assessment which will guide your security defenses. With a limited budget, prioritizing your cybersecurity goals will enable you to make efficient decision making and maximize the return on your cybersecurity investment.
Ask yourself what the major threats are to your organization. These threats can then be categorized according to two criteria – the likelihood of an attack and the damage such an attack would cause. By multiplying these criteria you can generate a cybersecurity matrix which will reveal how your organization needs to focus its resources.
Determine Your Goals
With assets and threats identified and ranked, it’s time to set your organization’s cybersecurity goals. “When approaching your cybersecurity aims, link these to your organization’s broader objectives to ensure your cybersecurity policy exists within the wider context of your organization’s orientation,” says Ricky Freese, a cybersecurity writer at LiaHelp and OXessays. “Your cybersecurity plan doesn’t exist independently from your business strategy.”
Building your goals within a specific timeline – quarterly and/or annually, for example – enables you to forecast your cybersecurity strategy with ease. Make sure goals are set with realistic expectations and simultaneously identify the metrics by which you can measure the success of these goals.
Document and Test
One of the primary benefits of implementing a cybersecurity policy is that it provides direction and detail to what was originally a nebulous approach to cybersecurity. Document the process of policy production and generate a final document which details every aspect of the journey.
Finally, test your cybersecurity policy by running rigorous tests on your system. Remember, in the digital world the cybersecurity threat is constantly evolving, so be prepared to update your policy.
The first mistake in cybersecurity is thinking it can’t happen to you. Proactive planning against the evolving digital threat landscape is essential in protecting your organization. By increasing your resilience to digital threats you’ll be able to achieve your business goals.
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