Why Cybersecurity is More than an IT Issue
Think of all the information you have stored in a cloud- or network-based system. From financial information to intellectual property, employee details – even information entrusted to you by third party partners – when it’s connected, it’s at risk of corruption. As small business owners, information and cybersecurity is another area where we practice risk management. Some companies fall prey to the false “No one will bother us – we’re just the little guys,” pretense, assuming that the size of their businesses protects them from impending threats. However, according to an article published by Northcentral University’s Insights and Stories blog, nearly 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses. Of those small businesses facing cyber attacks, 60 percent of them can’t afford cost of the damage and end up closing their doors. Knowing how to manage the risk posed to your information systems can help you stay ahead of these treats.
Interestingly (and to your benefit) most breaches of information are caused by shortfalls in protection – not by new hacker practices. With a proactive approach, you can protect your company from malicious cyber interactions. Organizations who are successful in keeping their information locked down are those who have a workforce engaged in the importance and practice of tight information management and stringent security processes and safeguards. By creating a management system that allows you to monitor both external forces and internal practices related to your information, you and your team can keep your company’s assets closely guarded and safe from the growing list of threats.
As we all take a close look at best practices and programs to protect your company’s information, it’s imperative to prepare your entire team – not just your IT group – to handle the added responsibility of a connected business.
It is likely that your entire team works with your network in some way. Encourage open communication for any member of your team to come forward with ideas of how to keep the information they work with safe.
Continuous Monitoring and Access
Conducting vulnerability assessments and requiring safeguards to be implemented and followed on all devices used by your team will take time, patience, and a lot of encouragement. While your IT team will drive the process, the engagement of your workforce as a whole is what will make this tactic to information and cybersecurity impactful for your business. Education is key, and consistent follow-up to ensure users are following protocol is a step you can’t skip.
Training and Thought Leadership
Your IT team will undoubtedly drive your information and cybersecurity program, but the engagement of your team is what will make it effective. Turn your IT group into educators, allowing them to use their expertise to develop programs to address the importance and function of the new policies they are working to implement. Allow them to talk about the risk associated with cyber threats and give them the autonomy needed to be impactful in their work.
Help Desk and Connectivity Support
Compliance and Certification
Much like the other ISO standards, the new ISO 27001 requirements help keep information assets secure through an information security management system (ISMS). The system will require a full assessment of your existing information and cybersecurity system, the development of new processes and procedures to protect against attacks, rigid documentation and records of your practices, and an audit by a third party to ensure compliance. Achieving ISO certification for information and cybersecurity systems not only sets you up for the highest level of protection against threats, but also shows proof to your customers that you take the protection of your information, and theirs, very seriously.
Information and cybersecurity is so much more than password protection and IT monitoring. It requires a combination of quality checks, constant vulnerability assessments, physical protection measures, and, most importantly, team work. Set requirements that safeguard your information and be diligent in your follow through. Collectively, you can prepare for any threat that may loom in cyberspace.