11 Signs You May Need To Rethink Your Cyber Security Strategy

[Approx. 7 minutes reading time]

Cybersecurity is a field that is always evolving and so it’s not something that you can afford to fall behind on. 

If you aren’t making the necessary upgrades, adjustments, and adaptations over time, then you risk leaving your systems vulnerable to the very latest threats and weaknesses. 

This really is a moving target and one that you should be paying close attention to for your business.

In this article, we’re going to run through 11 key signs that show that you might need to rethink your cybersecurity strategy and planning. 

These warning signs should serve as call-to-action points that drive you to make the necessary changes to your internal systems.

The 11 key signs (in no specific order) are:

  1. Your budgets for cybersecurity have stagnated or decreased
  2. You don’t have any staff members with specific cyber security skills
  3. You aren’t training your staff regularly about cybersecurity
  4. You don’t have any device-specific policies in place for your company
  5. You are constantly dealing with meaningless alerts from your cybersecurity software
  6. You haven’t performed network upgrades in a while
  7. It takes your company weeks or even months to investigate potential data breaches
  8. You’re not measuring the success of your cyber security strategy
  9. You’re not being proactive about new cybersecurity threats
  10. Your IT team operates in a silo
  11. Your cyber security strategy doesn’t have buy-in from management

We’ll get into more detail on each of these points below, and the impact each can have on your business.

Let’s get started.

1. Your budgets for cybersecurity have stagnated or decreased

Cybersecurity continues to grow in importance, and it requires continual financial investment to maintain a strong internal security system. 

If your cybersecurity budget has been declining over time or not rising sufficiently, then it’s likely a sign that you’re underestimating the potential impact and you’re leaving yourself vulnerable[1]

This is especially the case in current times with the drastic shift towards remote work and all the complications that brings. 

Your budgets should be going up, not down.

2. You don't have any staff members with specific cyber security skills

It’s common for companies to just give the responsibility for cybersecurity to the IT team and tell them to run with it. 

However, unless they have specific expertise in the field, they’re likely to perform sub-optimally. 

You should instead plan for and hire at least one cybersecurity expert for your team that can manage all these operations. 

These people can be difficult to come by, but they are worth their weight in gold.

3. You aren’t training your staff regularly about cybersecurity.

Your staff are always going to be the weakest link in a cybersecurity plan because they represent entry points for your network, and they can be manipulated by malicious actors if they aren’t effectively trained. 

Your cybersecurity planning must include space for regular training so you can keep everyone up to date on the latest threats and how you can mitigate them as a business[2].

4. You don’t have any device-specific policies in place for your company.

Your organization should have very specific policies that dictate how employees use their devices and the company network so that you can limit the number of potential weaknesses that your systems may have. 

If you don’t have these in place, it’s a sign that you haven’t thought carefully enough about the ramifications and there might be inconsistent understandings of the risks throughout your teams. 

A policy should spell out all the best practices that are needed to maintain an organization’s security.

5. You are constantly dealing with meaningless alerts from your cybersecurity software.

If you are spending most of your time dealing with false positive alerts[3] coming from your software, that is a sign that you haven’t fine-tuned your internal systems effectively and your current cyber security strategy isn’t working. 

There are always going to be some false positives, of course, but they should not take up the majority of your IT team’s time and effort.

6. You haven’t performed network upgrades in a while.

If you can’t remember the last time you upgraded your network, then it’s probably a sign that you haven’t done it regularly enough. 

This field is always changing, and your network upgrades should be happening like clockwork on a pre-determined schedule so that you’re always completely protected.

7. It takes your company weeks or even months to investigate potential data breaches.

This is simply not fast enough to be effective, and it suggests that you have various inefficiencies in your cyber security strategy. 

You need to think about restructuring your operations so that you can quickly respond to potential threats when they occur. 

Time is money here and you want to remove as much friction[4] as you can from the investigation process.

8. You’re not measuring the success of your strategy.

You might have invested in all the right tools, but if you’re not tracking their effectiveness over time then you’re simply shooting in the dark. 

An important part of any cybersecurity strategy is regular monitoring and evaluation[5] to make sure that everything is working as intended. 

It’s in these regular evaluations that you’ll also see the opportunities for upgrades, adjustments, and changes to your thinking. 

Without it, you simply won’t be agile enough.

9. You aren’t being proactive about new cybersecurity threats.

If your company is not looking ahead to the latest threats and making a plan to fight them, then they risk being left behind. 

The field moves fast and you need to be proactive[6] in monitoring the state of the industry and making the right decisions early before they become a problem. 

The more ahead of the curve you can get, the better you’ll be able to protect the organization.

10. Your IT team operates in a silo.

Cybersecurity is something that affects the whole organization and so if your IT team is completely siloed then you might need to rethink your strategy. 

Ideally, you want to have constant back-and-forth between the IT department and the rest of the business so you can feed information to all the stakeholders that help to keep the company systems secure. 

The more collaboration and understanding you have, the safer you are going to be.

11. Your cybersecurity strategy doesn’t have buy-in from management.

The tone needs to be set from the top when it comes to cybersecurity and if you aren’t getting the buy-in you should be getting from your management and executives, then you need to rethink how you’re packaging it and how your priorities are set as an organization. 

This is a crucial part of the puzzle and that needs to become a component of the company culture.

Conclusion

If you can heed these 11 warning signs and let them spur you on to action, then you’ll be in a great position when it comes to cybersecurity planning and strategy. 

The goalposts are always moving and so you can’t afford to sit back and rest on your laurels. 

Let this be your sign for a rethink about what you’re doing and how you can improve things.

If you’re looking for some professional assistance in this regard, then here at Continuous Networks, we’re here to help. 

We offer comprehensive managed cybersecurity solutions to clients of all types, as well as virtual CIO/CTO services if you don’t have the necessary skills in-house. 

If you need to get the RIGHT advice on a more effective Cybersecurity strategy, book a FREE CyberSCORE Assessment with our team by clicking the button below.

References

[1] ‘Cybersecurity Plan: Your Ultimate Guide to Protecting Against Cyber Threats’ from Iconic IT.  https://iconicit.com/cybersecurity-services/cybersecurity-plan/

[2] ‘The Importance of Cybersecurity Training’ by Frankie Wallace.  https://www.uscybersecurity.net/cybersecurity-training-important/

[3] ‘Cybersecurity 101: What You Need to Know About False Positives and False Negatives’ from Infocyte.  https://www.infocyte.com/blog/2019/02/16/cybersecurity-101-what-you-need-to-know-about-false-positives-and-false-negatives/

[4] ‘Data Breach Response Times: Trends and Tips’ by Rob Sobers.  https://www.varonis.com/blog/data-breach-response-times/

[5] ‘How to Measure Cybersecurity Success’ from Cybersecurity Intelligence.  https://www.cybersecurityintelligence.com/blog/how-to-measure-cybersecurity-success-3494.html

[6] ‘Reactive v Proactive Cybersecurity: 7 Benefits’ by Phoebe Fasulo.  https://securityscorecard.com/blog/reactive-vs-proactive-cybersecurity

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