In this two-part blog, the second which will be shared next month, we are going to share with you the multiple security layers businesses like yours will need in order to protect your assets, employees, and clients. Organizations are seeing a 45% increase in the number and frequency of cyber threats and small businesses are much more attractive to cybercriminals because they don’t usually have the same security measures in place as a larger corporation. However, you don’t need a massive IT budget to keep your business secure. With some baseline knowledge and support from the right IT partner, you can keep your organization safe.
Know Your Assets
The first step in protecting your business is to know what to protect. Some data is likely worth more than others. For example, some of your data is public knowledge, whereas other assets such as client information has been entrusted to you, making it your responsibility to protect that data. Keep in mind that there are compliance requirements within your industry that you need to ensure you are meeting at a minimum. Often, that is a good starting place for your asset list. Once you understand what you need to protect, then you can focus on how best to protect those assets.
Know Your Threats
Threats are changing all the time so it’s important to stay up-to-date with what threats are a risk for you particularly. Although there may be headline-making threats in the news, that doesn’t mean your business is susceptible. Conversely, the threats you don’t know about are the ones in which you need to educate yourself. Working with a strategic IT partner will help you stay in-the-know about the biggest threats most likely to affect your business. Some partners will even provide ongoing training to all employees for optimum assurance and protection.
Over-Communicate with Your Team
Your team is one of the most important security layers in your IT strategy – the strength of this layer can either help or hurt your security. Create a system use and policy guide for your employees that educates them, holds them accountable, and creates a new focus on the importance of security, and be sure to review it with them either monthly or quarterly. It is also helpful to have a designated person that is the “security go-to” whenever there is a question about a possible phishing attempt or security question. This person provides validation for employees asking about possible security breaches and can keep your team motivated and proactive in maintaining a watchful eye for security breaches.
Monitor and Maintain Your Firewalls
Firewalls, like any barrier between you and a criminal, need to be checked and updated often. There are many ways that you should monitor and maintain your firewalls and security. Are you practicing any of these safety measures?
- Spam filtering with sandboxing
- DNS filtering
- Content filtering
- Changing default configurations
- Web filtering
- Active security subscription
- Ongoing monitoring and managing of said firewalls
Protecting your data is not a one-time event or a one-practice solution. You need multiple layers of security that are constantly monitored and up-to-date. It’s important to talk to a knowledgeable IT provider to ensure that the security measures you have in place are truly protecting you and your business 24/7.
As a business owner, we understand that navigating the cybersecurity threats and training (or re-training) employees on this important topic is sometimes one more to-do item that can get pushed below day-to-day business needs. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t realize the importance of good IT practice until it’s too late. Talk to an experienced IT partner who can support you in finding the right cybersecurity protection for today and tomorrow. And be sure to join us next month when we discuss continuous measures you can take to support your team and protect your business from ongoing cybersecurity threats.