Why Anti-Virus Software Isn’t Enough To Protect Your Business From Cyberattack – Part Three

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The final article in a three-part series outlining the ideal multi-level cybersecurity plan to implement to protect your business from cyber attack.

Did you know that 66% of business found that cyber-attacks were caused by insiders either inadvertently or intentionally? Despite the best multi-level security plan in place, it’s the “human” factor that can leave your business exposed and vulnerable. Part three explores how to minimise this risk and do it in a way that enhances your team culture.

In part one, we detailed why having a multi-level plan is so important. Then outlined the initial components of that plan, which are:

  • Ensuring you know where you are at risk by undertaking a vulnerability assessment.
  • What to look for in obtaining adequate patch management software.
  • Protecting all devices and equipment capable of storing and transferring data, from smart-phones to desktop computers.
  • Introducing appropriate content filters.

In part two, we dove into the importance of:

  • Having an intelligence feed that ensures you stay vigilant about cybercrime in general; that you keep abreast of relevant industry technology advancements and the potential threats that can emerge from those as a result.
  • Ensuring you have an excellent back-up and recovery system and plan in place.
  • Getting the right cyber liability insurance.

However, regardless of all of the above, one of the most critical components of your multi-level cybersecurity plan is to educate, train and empower your team about cybersecurity. It’s the “human factor” that can, despite all the best measures in place, leave you vulnerable.

Security-related service agreement

Having cyber-security agreements in place with employees and contractors is essential. These should outline mandatory training, security protocols and response timings and protocols that need to be followed. Try to review your security service agreements regularly.

Incident Response Plans

Introduce security incident response plans that identify what needs to occur in the event of a major incident. Include what data and assets may be affected by each significant threat type, who is responsible for what and what each person needs to do. Develop contacts lists, checklists and guides, so that when adrenalin runs high, people have everything at their fingertips to minimise damage. This should include also stakeholder communication and a PR and media management protocol.

Training and Security drills

Training your team on the latest in security threats, how to identify them and what to do about them is fundamental. This is imperative for all levels and departments of your business and occurs at least every three months. Training should be fun, dynamic and interactive.

Regular security drills are an excellent way to test your staff’s learnings in a fun, real-time environment. Test your team on what they’ve learnt, reward great progress and get your employees and contractors to provide their learnings and feedback in a workshop environment. This can be an excellent way to raise awareness and build skills in this area. Ideally, try to run preventative and response drills.

Management

Where relevant, try to have two dedicated people responsible for security. Those team members regularly update the general team and senior management of any breaches and new protocols that need to be adopted as a result. That way you have two people empowered with processes, procedures and protocols, not one and the workload is not as much.

Culture

Ensuring your team report security or data breaches or is an absolute fundamental. Employees can be too scared of the implications and ramifications (as outlined in their security-related service agreements) to report any incidents or breaches. Adopting a culture that rewards and encourages the reporting of data and security lapses is vital. Try only to enact punitive measures when necessary and that your team is rewarded for reporting breaches. Potentially you could take that a step further and get them to outline what happened in a team meeting and get them to recommend how to ensure it doesn’t happen again based on their learnings.

The best multi-level security plan will be ineffective without a team that is educated, empowered and motivated to protect your businesses’ data. It’s as important to invest the time and money into your employees and contractors as it is the systems and software themselves. Talk with your managed IT services provider to assess your current security services and the best way to implement the right plan to maximise your security.