I recently met with a business owner who asked about a cybersecurity audit. A consultant approached him and suggested he might need one, but he didn’t understand what it entailed. The familiar question “Why?” popped into my head.
Being proactive is almost always a good idea; anticipating problems and preventing them before they harm your business will save you money and improve customer and employee relations. On the other hand, diving into an assessment regarding something as complex as cybersecurity without understanding why can be a waste of time, money, and other resources.
What are some reasons why you might need a cybersecurity assessment?
- You’ve heard about ransomware and are concerned you might be vulnerable. If you want to learn more about ransomware, read this article.
- You are required to comply with data security regulations such as the HIPAA privacy rule, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Gramm-Leach- Bliley (GLBA), or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
- You have valuable intellectual property that you do not want to be corrupted or stolen from you.
- You want to maintain your reputation as a responsible business leader by keeping customer, supplier, and employee data secure.
- You know that a breach of your network can cause a loss of productivity even when data is not compromised.
What are examples of cybersecurity issues? The most common cyber threats are:
- Malware – malicious software that harms using a virus or spyware
- Ransomware – involves an attacker locking a victim’s computer file and demanding payments to unlock them
- Social engineering – relies on human interaction to trick people into breaking security procedures to steal sensitive information
- Phishing – Fraudulent emails that are sent and resemble emails from trustworthy sources to steal sensitive data such as credit card information
How does a cybersecurity assessment help you avoid harm from these threats? A thorough cybersecurity assessment will evaluate not only how well your IT environment is protected against external threats but internal ones as well. Are there ways an employee or visitor could breach your systems from within (accessing computers through USB ports, for example)? Do employees have their passwords on sticky notes attached to their monitors? Are employees trained to avoid phishing scams?
An effective cybersecurity assessment will include the digital environment and the physical and human elements as well. And finally, a thorough cybersecurity assessment will determine if you have a recovery plan and how effective it will be should you have a breach.
Engage an IT professional to evaluate your cybersecurity readiness and provide you with a plan to avoid the harmful results of being poorly prepared for the inevitable.
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About Davis Merrey
Davis, is Owner/CEO of TeamLogic IT of Oklahoma City, part of an international network of franchisees providing IT support for businesses. He brings many years of experience in a variety of technology related industries, leading teams in providing technical solutions that respond to critical customer needs. The company culture is defined by its Mission Statement: “To help our fellow employees and clients be successful”.
Davis earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He serves on several business related and non-profit boards of directors.