Many businesses go about their day and just assume that everything is protected and running smoothly, but how would they know that if they never check?
With that in mind, businesses have started setting up mid-year reviews. Through this review process, managers and leaders look at what is currently working for them and identify the pieces that could use some improvements. If you’re looking internally, cybersecurity should be at the top of your list. That’s because there could be critical vulnerabilities threatening your company. Making sure your business is protected is important to ensure it runs efficiently and securely.
There are three cybersecurity topics that Sitelock CIO Neill Feather says businesses need to look for in their reviews. These are:
- The gaps in your tech stacks
- The current threat landscape
- The strategy you’re using to secure your workforce here
Let’s dive in.
Rethinking Your Tech Stack
When looking for gaps in a tech stack, it is best to first understand what that means. A tech stack is a compilation of all the software a business uses, and each component is vulnerable to threats. Hackers can exploit theses vulnerabilities if there are gaps in your network, operating systems, core services, databases, webservers, or any third-party applications.
A big problem causer tends to be web applications. Web applications are a type of software that dictates how your website looks and runs. If there is a hole in your website, hackers can insert code into it and change anything on your website. This will also give the hacker access to your website and customer data. Another way a hacker can manipulate your website is by redirecting your customers to other malicious sites. When this happens, your customers don’t trust your website and in turn are unlikely to go back which loses your business money.
Threats Around Every Corner
It is also important to be up to date on all the new threats that have been created. Cyber criminals are always scouring the web and looking for new ways to get to your business’s data. That’s why it is a good thing to educate yourself and your employees on any new threats. Research shows that websites are attacked about 94 times a day on average. Because of this high volume of attacks, it is important to have a plan to combat them.
Lastly, Feather stresses the importance of developing a strategy for securing your workforce. This means your employees need to be educated and up to date on the current best practices in security, which means starting with good cyber hygiene. Using strong passwords, utilizing 2FA, and being able to identify phishing attempts are a good place to start. These practices can help improve your online security as well as maintain system health, ensuring that your identity and other important information is not stolen.
Cybersecurity Solutions Made Easy
On the other side of things, keeping your business protected is, to a large extent, influenced by the kind of IT support you have. There are ultimately two types of IT approaches, proactive ones and reactive ones. It is important to make sure your business’s IT support uses a proactive approach. A proactive approach means having your IT department set up protocols and procedures to prevent mishaps in the first place. This save your business time and money it would have wasted with a reactive approach.
A reactive approach is when your IT support is there to fix your business’s problems but only after something breaks. The respond to disasters and mishaps; they don’t prevent it. For obvious reasons, this allows for many disruptions during the workday and can lead to huge, unexpected costs.
So what does a proactive approach to IT look like? Well, one example would be having firewalls set up in your email to prevent any phishing or potentially dangerous emails from reaching your inbox. With these safety measures are in place, no harmful emails reach your inbox, and therefore there is no possibility of an employee clicking a bad link. On the other hand, a reactive approach means there are no firewalls in place, meaning that all sorts of dangerous content can be clicked. Now you are stuck with a virus that is trying to access your data, meaning you have to spend time and money to get things back to normal.
A lot of small-to-medium sized businesses choose to outsource their IT support. That way, they themselves don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen next. They know they are covered by experts whose entire business is information technology. You should double check that the IT company you work with takes a proactive approach to keeping you safe, and if they don’t, you should be asking, “Why not?”
Mid-year reviews are critical and give your business the opportunity to fix things and run more efficiently. In reviewing each of these four topics, significant improvements can be made. However, doing so may be difficult on your own. An outsource IT partner is an excellent first resource at this time of the year since they can do a lot of the heavy lifting by performing a current threat assessment. This assessment will reveal many of the vulnerabilities that bad actors may be able to exploit. Then, the IT partner can find the short-term and long-term solutions to these problems so they never threaten your company or bog down productivity ever again.