On this very blog alone you have probably read over and over that your small business needs a concrete strategy in place when it comes to cybersecurity. Many business owners know this, but they’re less privy to what exactly needs to go into the plan.
Whether your business has already taken the time to put pen to paper and create a cybersecurity plan, or you’re looking to develop one, the following information will help you take the right approach so that your plan is an effective one.
Test and assess your infrastructure and go to work addressing the risks
Before you can start to design a cybersecurity plan, you need to know the specific threats that your business is facing and the way in which it currently handles cybersecurity. This will highlight any weaknesses in the current way that your business operates.
Businesses face industry-specific threats and regulations. For instance, a medical practice has higher stakes cybersecurity needs than a roofing company.
This period of assessment is very important, as it lays the groundwork for everything you will base your plan on. The job of your cybersecurity plan should be to keep effective practices intact while addressing any weaknesses that you may drudge up.
Important components of a comprehensive plan
A truly comprehensive cybersecurity plan includes many different areas of focus, including:
- Software, hardware and solutions: Firewalls, anti-virus software and other solutions — these are the cornerstones of strong cybersecurity. However, the mistake that many small business owners make is assuming that, once they install these components, they’re completely safe. While this is a very important part of the equation, it’s not the whole thing.
- Incident response plan: Do you know exactly how your business will respond to a cybersecurity incident? Do you have a communication plan? Do you know which steps come first. Being prepared for when disaster strikes is the key to weathering it.
- Training for employees on all cybersecurity policies: It’s vital to train your employees on important cybersecurity issues, like how to handle using their own devices at work or creating strong passwords and managing them appropriately. Your ENTIRE team needs to be on the same page.
Teaming with the right partners is important
Your company’s cybersecurity plan is so crucial that consulting with qualified professionals to gain an outside perspective is very much worth the investment.
With a managed service provider or trusted IT consultant, you can gain the insight of someone well-versed in cybersecurity so that they can help you spot vulnerabilities, match you with appropriate solutions and field any questions or concerns you might have.
These are professionals that can teach you, not just how to set a strong cybersecurity plan in place, but how to maintain it long into the future.
Does you business have a plan?
Some business owners may have an informal plan in place — an understanding amongst employees that they must be careful when working online. That’s not enough to properly protect your business, though.
When it comes to cybersecurity, have a plan! Think of every scenario and plot out a course of action so that you are never caught flat-footed.