4 considerations for your cyber security strategy in 2023

The fact that many large enterprises have had their names spotlighted on the news might give you the false sense that you need a large staff and customer count to become the target of a cyber attack. In reality, cyber criminals view businesses of any size as viable targets. Focusing on strengthening cyber security should be a high priority for this year, if not your top priority. Keep in mind that the problem we see with many of the leaders we speak with is that they have taken a technology-driven approach to solving the problem. While this approach is correct, it should not be your only approach. The leadership team must also find solutions for strengthening people and processes within the business.

1. Conduct a cyber security audit as a benchmark

Some companies we speak with have previously paid cyber security businesses to conduct audits. Still, these have missed details or failed to produce a viable strategy for boosting the cyber security posture. Too many cyber security audits only cover basic areas, such as encryption and antivirus software. However, they may not cover other more sophisticated threats, such as social engineering attacks or zero-day exploits. Again, part of the issue here is approaching cyber security as a technology problem without accounting for people and processes.  To truly protect your organisation, it is essential to go beyond the basic security measures and conduct thorough checks for potential vulnerabilities. An audit can provide your company with vital information, such as identifying all existing threats, enabling more robust network monitoring practices, and determining how security measures hold up against industry standards. Moreover, an audit can uncover any new steps your business needs to protect sensitive data from being compromised and where new investments in technology and personnel might be necessary. Without conducting regular cyber security audits and adequately addressing any issues identified, it becomes challenging to navigate the next steps of what you should do.

2. Rethink your approach to budget constraints

Investing in cyber defence might feel like a formidable expense. However, staying one step ahead of hackers is an invaluable necessity for modern businesses — but with tight budgets and increasing online risks, business owners can feel like they have a difficult decision to weigh. But think about it this way: the money you would spend on strengthening cyber security is not as much as you would spend recovering from a cyber attack. When deciding on the best way to protect your business from cyber attacks, it’s essential to consider the cost of a security budget compared to the costs of dealing with the aftermath of an attack. It may seem like investing in a cyber security budget is expensive, but when you look at the potential fallout from an attack, it can be much more affordable. A cyber attack could result in lost data and productivity, reputational damage, legal fees, compliance fines, and more. These costs can add up quickly and will far exceed the cost of a cyber security budget. Investing in the right tools and personnel to protect your business from threats is the most cost-effective choice in the long run. With the right investment and resources, you can protect your business from attacks and save money in the long run.

3. Implement controls to maintain compliance with regulations

Staying up to date with data compliance regulations is essential for businesses of all sizes that collect, manage and store customer data. Your company must ensure that processes and platforms comply with the latest regulations or risk facing heavy fines and penalties. Updating company processes can be difficult; however, it’s vital to ensure that your company remains compliant with industry standards, such as APRA and CPS 234. Staying compliant with data regulations is not just about ensuring your company follows regulations; it is an opportunity to ensure your cyber security posture is robust and up-to-date. Your organisation can achieve this through a combination of controls, like conducting regular vulnerability scans, designing defensive security strategies and any necessary upgrades, and education and awareness programs that inform employees on best practices to follow when handling and sharing sensitive data. By implementing such measures, your organisation can increase its resilience towards cyber threats, safeguarding customer and business data.

4. Educate your staff with cyber security training programs

Investing in cyber security training programs for your staff can protect your business from cyber attacks and strengthen your cyber security posture.  By educating your staff about the potential threats they might encounter and how they can combat them, you can reduce the risk of exploitation that could lead to data breaches or other security incidents. For example, cyber security awareness training helps employees recognise the signs of phishing attacks, one of the most common methods used by threat actors to gain access to an organisation’s systems and data. Your organisation can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach by educating employees on these tactics and equipping them with the knowledge they need to detect and prevent phishing attacks.  Cyber security training programs are also beneficial in helping staff identify suspicious activity before it leads to further disruption, enabling them to seek aid or alert a superior as soon as possible. With proper training, employees can learn to identify suspicious emails and potential phishing scams and understand the consequences of sharing sensitive information with unauthorised parties. With a greater understanding of the risks associated with online activities, employees are more likely to exercise caution when sharing data.

VISITS can become your cyber security partner

We conduct a thorough audit of your business to understand your vulnerabilities and create a strategy to improve cyber security over time by prioritising the fixes you need most. Please visit our CISO as a Service page for more information.

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