As the digital footprints of businesses are expanding and digital devices are exponentially multiplying, so are the cyber threats to businesses. The costs due to these threats are huge; the average cost of a data breach is USD 3.29 million. Apart from such monetary losses, they also deal a huge blow to the trust and reputation of the company.
There are many instances where businesses fold due to the amassing costs following a cyber attack. If you don’t want to be one of those businesses, you must build a strong cyber security strategy.
Below are a few tips that you must include while crafting a cyber security strategy:
Involve management and non-IT stakeholders
Usually, cyber security is seen as the responsibility of IT teams. This belief must be brushed aside. Since a cyber attack compromises company-wide operations, all these branches must be involved in drafting plans to immunize the company against potential attacks. An efficient cyber security strategy involves all the stakeholders in a business including management and employees.
For instance, the finance teams must be responsible for investing in cyber security protocols, the HR managers may deal with hiring the right talent, coming up with ways to inculcate best security practices, etc.
Train your workforce
Most cyber-attacks are triggered by phishing emails. With a mere click on a malicious link, you are undermining entire systems throughout your company. These phishing emails or social engineering strategies are targeted towards your workforce.
Unfortunately, that most employees cannot distinguish malignant mails from normal ones. This ability can easily be acquired through training and can consequently save the company from becoming a victim of cybercrime. So, businesses must invest in training their workforce to be adept in cyber security aspects.
Adopt secure practices
A long-term effort to counter cyber threats is to inculcate secure practices in everyday business activities. For example, you can use secure file transfer protocols like FTPS and SFTP which are based on the network protocol SSH (secured shell) for transferring information internally or externally.
These protocols use encryptions and authentications to secure the data and the network through which they are being communicated.
It is very much essential in companies that support remote and hybrid work environments. Since a cyber attack might use an employee as the means to corrupt the entire system in the business, it is more than necessary to adopt and abide by such protocols.
Hire white hats
The importance of this cannot be overstated. No matter how much you train your workforce, there is a high chance that they will be outsmarted by hackers. This is because hackers that target businesses do it for profits or to steal critical data; they proceed with a goal in mind and are viciously determined to achieve it.
Such a thought process is difficult to comprehend for an employee who was trained in a corporate building. White hats are the ethical hackers who know the way around systems. They know the backdoors hackers use, the lines they cross, and they can closely estimate the point of attack and can prepare your business accordingly.
The advantages of hiring white hats are manifold. Do not hesitate due to concerns that some people air out. A white hat is an ethical hacker; it is in the name, he is an ethical entity who will help you brave the biggest challenge digitization has hurled at mankind.
Choose your vendors wisely
With the onset of cloud computing and its increased penetration in the business world, we are basically serving all our data on a platter and offering it to potential attackers. Since cloud enables collaboration of platforms and also involves transmitting business-critical information to and fro from a server to multiples nodes, you must choose proper service provides.
Along with cloud service providers, software providers, security service providers, etc must also be picked with discretion. Weigh their past works and special features, go for trusted brands and reputed providers that keep updating their services.
Invest in cyber insurance
After you’ve done it all, do purchase cyber insurance; because we can never predict the inevitable. This is a wise investment as it covers many expenses like claims by third parties, legal fees, customer paybacks, etc.
Though this is not a weapon you can use to fight off cyberattacks, it lays down a safety net in case a threat arises despite your efforts.
So, bear these in mind while planning your cyber security strategy. Though we lack ways to prevent an attack before it happens, building a strong defense to fend them off is the next best thing. “The best defense is a good offense.”