28October

7 Elements of a Successful Cyber Security Plan

With technology improving at a rapid rate, cyber security is top of mind for businesses across the globe.

If you have sensitive information stored somewhere other than on paper, cyber security is extremely important.

 

More and more businesses are making a strong, action-based cyber security plan a top priority. This simple initiative can spare companies plenty of headaches, stress, and misspent time.

 

There are seven main questions a cyber security plan should address, but these basic inquiries are just a foundation for even more purposeful points to consider.

 

1. Where and how is sensitive data stored?

 

Where exactly is your sensitive data being stored? Is it secure or easily accessible to anyone? If you have multiple devices, employees, and networks, you might not be able to answer this question easily. Before anything else, you must find all the locations (such as apps, programs, hard drives, and cloud services) where your data is stored.

 

Additional questions you can answer include:

  • Is your information encrypted?
  • What can we do to protect sensitive information like credit card numbers from our customers?

 

2. How is data backed up?

 

Secure data storage is one thing, but ensuring your sensitive information is backed up regularly is integral to your company’s cyber security. If you don’t know how your data is backed up, you’re likely in need of a reliable cloud service.

 

Look at questions like:

  • How often are backups created in each location?
  • How many locations (and types) give us enough range to ensure that if a cyber incident occurred, there would be little to no business interruption?
  • Is a cloud migration necessary to improve data security and backups?

 

3. What happens if there is a cyber incident?

 

Cyber attacks don’t happen every day, and it can be tempting to imagine it will never happen to yours. However, a cyber incident plan or disaster recovery plan can determine the necessary steps to recover your data, restore your operations, and potentially deal with the fallout, such as legal action, new systems setup, and more.

 

Unsure if you have all the protection you need? Download the Cybersecurity Checklist. 

 

4. What happens if there is a cyber threat?

 

Although there is often no warning before a cyber attack, threats can present themselves beforehand. In this case, there’s usually a dilemma or difficult choice to make. It could be as simple as allowing or disallowing a program access to your computer or network. Or, it could be as dramatic as someone holding your customer’s data for ransom.

 

Social engineering tactics are only getting smarter as hackers come up with new ways to gain access to businesses’ vulnerable information. And while it may be difficult to prepare for these circumstances in advance, having a general plan of attack can help you stay calm and make rational decisions under pressure.

 

5. How can we improve network security?

 

Unauthorized access to networks poses a major problem for data protection. Preventing this kind of breach from happening should be a top priority in this section of your cybersecurity plan. This is typically achieved most easily by putting firewalls in place. There are many different options for firewalls that can protect your computers’ networks.

 

6. How can we prevent malicious software (or “malware”)?

 

Antivirus software is a rapid response solution that can instantly improve your computer system’s security. If you aren’t currently using antivirus software, this is a place where you can begin to explore the options that are best for your business.

 

7. How can we enforce our security standards company-wide?

 

When it comes to cyber security, the mechanics are only half the battle. It’s fairly simple to put security measures in place for the technology while people, on the other hand, can pose a challenge.

 

When people using technology don’t understand how it works or what the risks are, it puts company property at risk. Consider the people, management, and systems involved in the business. Initiatives could include training, policies and procedures, and communicating with IT experts.

 

How to save time & money on a cyber security plan

 

Some IT providers offer plans that can give you an outside perspective on your security threats and risks. An outsourced cyber security plan should include a robust risk assessment, a complete outline of the options available, and a user education/awareness component for implementation.

 

Get in touch with Alt-Tech today to learn about our cyber security offerings.

 

 

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