Is your business or organisation ready to handle a targeted cyber-attack? Industry experts project that more than 95% of businesses will be hit by a data breach, and the likelihood of that coming from a third-party or malicious attack is more than 60%. So here we share 12 Cyber-Readiness strategies for businesses of all sizes and industries.
1 – Have a Cyber-Readiness Plan
With headlines full of cyberattacks and security breaches victims, it is time to take the risks seriously. The success and survival of your business will be determined by your ability to overcome security
threats or breaches. You need a cyber readiness plan that includes elements of prevention, continuity
and recovery strategies.
2 – Establish strict policies & procedures
Policies and procedures regulate business operations and are essential for defining the standards and
expectations of employee behavior and actions in the workplace. While establishing strict, securityfocused protocols is essential, a system of validation and enforcement is equally important. After all,
rules without consequences are merely suggestions.
3 – Keep Updates up-to-date
While updates often introduce new or enhanced features into your apps, programs and systems, they
also install security and performance fixes known as patches. Undiscovered defects or flaws can leave
your systems exposed. Hackers will exploit any vulnerability or security gap they find. Keeping your
systems updated is vital for keeping your business cyber ready.
4 – Force Authentication
One-level security is no longer enough. Even the strongest passwords are vulnerable to theft or
exposure. Requiring more than one method to authenticate user identity or access permissions can
reduce or eliminate the risk of stolen or unauthorized credentials being utilized.
Read up on Multi-Factor Authentication here.
5 – Backup Everything
Data is the lifeblood of every business. Unfortunately, the risks and threats to the protection, privacy
and usability of that data are endless. Follow the 3-2-1 method for backups; a minimum of three
unique copies of your data, two available locally and one off-site or in the cloud. Make sure to test
your backups often for functionality and integrity.
6 – Don’t neglect compliance
Maintaining regulatory compliance is mandatory for many organizations. While navigating and
satisfying the obligations can be complicated and stressful, achieving compliance is a critical
component of having a cyber ready business. Security and privacy are integral elements of compliance.
7 – Continuous Network Intelligence
Knowledge is power. A critical component of cyber readiness is having on-demand insight of
anomalous activities, suspicious changes, potentially harmful misconfigurations or any other malicious
activities occurring internally on your network. Promptly detect and remove threats before they cause
8 – Security Awareness Training
Users are the weakest link in security, given a lack of education and experience. Instituting a security
awareness training program for every member of your staff will significantly reduce the probability of
user-related errors and exposures.
9 – Combat the Password crisis
With over 80% of hacking-related breaches linked to weak, reused or stolen passwords, user
credentials are emerging as the top vulnerability for businesses. Balance convenience and security by
monitoring the dark web for exposed credentials, implementing multi-factor authentication, and
streamlining control of password management.
10 – Don’t skip the insurance
Increasing risks and threats of data breaches and ransomware, regardless of size or industry, have
prompted many businesses to adopt Cyber Risk Insurance to protect themselves from catastrophic
loss. Investing in a cyber insurance policy could save your business should you be the next victim.
11 – Reduce Supply Chain Vulnerabilities
Nearly two-thirds of firms (65%) have experienced cyber-related issues in their supply chain in the past
year 1. As a part of your cyber readiness plan, you must deploy protocols to evaluate and monitor the
security of your supplier networks and third-party vendors.
12 – Deploy a Multi-Layer Security Strategy
Security is asymmetrical. Where businesses must plan, prepare and defend against every threat or
scenario, cybercriminals only need to find a single weakness or hole in your defenses to carry out their
malicious plans. Protect your data and your business by deploying multiple security strategies together