Years ago, it may have seemed like only government agencies with top-secret intel or wealthy international banks had to worry about hackers. Now, even the smallest businesses could see their reputations ruined by a data breach. And, larger companies risk having their sensitive data stolen and paying thousands, even millions of dollars to resolve the breach. Fortunately, you can take preventative measures to protect your business. One approach is hiring a qualified IT consultant to perform a cybersecurity assessment.
These assessments evaluate your current security practices and identify vulnerabilities. Plus, you may gain a competitive edge by showing your customers and prospects that you’re serious about data privacy.
More technology adds risk
Many companies use technologies that allow them to gather, track, and analyze customer and financial data. This includes software for payroll, accounts receivable and payable, supply chain management, HR and benefits, and on-site security.
These systems are often cloud-based, meaning the platform and its information is stored online, allowing users to access it remotely at any time. These tools are necessary for their convenience and analytical power, but they also create a tempting target for cybercriminals. They raise your company’s risk exposure exponentially.
If your business becomes a victim of a cyberattack, the impacts go beyond losing control of confidential personal or financial information. You may have to deal with personal injuries, property damage, and work stoppage. What if a hacker can tamper with your building’s security or fire system? What if they can remotely manipulate vehicles or equipment?
4 benefits of a cybersecurity assessment
If you hire a professional to conduct a formal cybersecurity assessment, you’ll likely find opportunities to improve your security protocols. Outcomes may include:
- Taking inventory of your hardware and software
- Identifying and reducing potential vulnerabilities, including critical access held by vendors, partners, and current or former employees
- Implementing internal controls and other protections to reduce risk
- Creating an incident response plan to mitigate damage in the event of an attack
There are several cybersecurity standards and frameworks available to guide your security efforts, including those developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the International Organization for Standardization. The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers cybersecurity tips and best practices.
If you want to know more about your organization’s safety, a qualified IT consultant can help by conducting a customized risk assessment.
Work to become a hard target
Cybersecurity is important for every size and type of company. It may be comforting to think that the bad guys only go after the big businesses, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes hackers attack the softest, easiest targets. If you strengthen any weaknesses and monitor your security practices regularly, you may become less appealing to criminals, ward off their attacks, and avoid costly consequences.
Want to make sure your business is well-protected from cyber threats? Let’s talk!