In today’s connected business environment, protecting your assets is more critical than ever. Attackers know that leaders rely upon having access to online information to make informed decisions. The reality is that most of this information is stored or touched by vendors in order to provide core services to their customers. But what happens when your business is unable to access critical data? Do you have a plan in place to operate despite the disruption? Just how long can you be without your data before a negative business impact is realized? Cybersecurity aims to bring awareness, preparation, and proactive solutions to these burning questions and more.
At its core, cyber security is about identifying and addressing business risks. Cyber risk is in fact a business risk. Unfortunately, complex vendor marketing has driven many leaders to confusion on not only where to start in the security journey, but what tools and strategies to put in place to enable your business to operate safely. In the sections below, we break down these complexities so that your business can leverage cyber security to drive your business forward
Core Benefits of Investing in Cybersecurity
- Protection against external threats
Cybercriminals are cashing in on businesses. In fact, a recent study expects the global cost of cybercrime to exceed $1 trillion in 2023.
But what really motivates someone to perform a cyber-attack? While primarily launched for financial gain, the reasons behind cyber-attacks can vary from industrial espionage, reputation damages, or even hacking for a cause (typically known as hacktivism). Despite the motivating factors, cyber criminals all have one common thread; to negatively impact you.
Cyber security however can be leveraged before a business impact is felt. From enabling best practices to include Multi Factor Authentication, regular systems, and software updates, and performing security awareness training, organizations can be better positioned to not only thwart attackers’ attempts but minimize business damages in the event of occurrence.
- Protection against internal threats
Despite all the shiny cybersecurity tools and vendors out there, a simple click of a link by an employee or trusted third party can cripple these protections. The weakest link in the cyber security chain remains the human element. Whether it’s by accident, negligence, or outright malicious intent, insiders pose a real threat to your business.
The insider threat is expected to grow in the coming months, as business continues to shift towards a fully remote, and hybrid workforce. You may be asking yourself: ‘With the shifting business landscape of today, how can I ensure employee flexibility while protecting my most trusted assets?’ Good news, as there are ways you can act NOW!
Implementing proactive monitoring of networks and managed access and reviewing existing access control (permissions) for your employees can significantly cut down on the likelihood of a trusted insider damaging your business. In addition, providing your employees and vendor ecosystem with consistent, and relevant cyber education can turn your people into security champions for the organization.
- Regulatory Compliance
With breaches continuing to make headline news, regulators are taking note that cyber protections must no longer be an afterthought. From Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards to protected health information and even merger and acquisition safeguards, it’s likely that if you do business anywhere, you have required cyber protections.
Even for those in typically unregulated markets, such as crypto-based investments, the time for regulatory oversight in how these transactions are performed and secured, is coming. The recent collapse of the crypto kingpin, FTX, has shown that decentralized investments are under the watchful eye of government and business entities. With impending regulations on the horizon, you should be asking yourself, ‘why not take the first step today towards better protecting your business and your client’s information?’
But don’t just take our word for it. According to data privacy and cyber security law expert Jamal Hartenstein, leaders could approach cyber security in regulatory compliance as “a competitive advantage, getting ahead of industry competition before underregulated industries become regulated.”
- Improved productivity
Threats such as malware, ransomware, and even compromised email boxes can bring traditional business operations to a screeching halt. At best, you’re able to revert to good ol’ pen and pad transactions. At worst, your business has no access to its data, and the bad guy/girl wants a heap of money to give it back.
By implementing a variety of proactive technical measures such as defined backups firewalls, alongside a security strategy to define the execution of these resources, you can drastically reduce not only occurrences but the time to detect, respond and recover from cyber breaches.
- Cost savings and value
According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021, the average cost of a single cyber-attack to a small business in the U.S. is $25,612. Considering the fact that only about 40% of SMBs operate at a profit — the loss of data and cost to recover it, downtime to restart operations, and hefty fines can be a steep price to pay.
As cyber-attacks only continue to grow more sophisticated and complex every day, it’s important to weigh the cost of dealing with one attack versus the value of taking preventative measures. By mitigating risks, you put your business in a better position to respond, recover, and keep existing customers happy — a far more cost-efficient option than attracting new ones.
- Confidence in Your Brand
With inflation and uncertainties plaguing every industry vertical, can your business afford to lose any customers? Business success in today’s environment goes well beyond providing quality products and services. Today’s customer counts on your business to keep the information entrusted to you, safe, secure, and out of the news headlines.
But what happens when one of your customer databases ends up for sale on the Dark Web? Is your team prepared to respond to and defend the reputational damages, such a breach could lead to? The fact is, our team continues to see this happen, where treasure troves of client information (credit cards, names, email, social security numbers, etc.) is leaked to the highest bidder).
But what would you say if you could implement a basic security strategy, without costing an arm and a leg? Would you take that first step to ensure client confidence?
Taking The First Step – Completing A Baseline Security Assessment
Your business is on a journey, into the unknown and although you can’t predict the future, you can do everything to ensure its success. How can you better protect your people, your brand, and your reputation? The logical first step in this process is to perform a baseline security assessment getting to know not only how your business operates, but what critical systems and processes enable its success.
From here, you can apply industry best practices to determine how prepared your business is to defend, respond and recover from modern-day cyber-attacks.
Lastly, a recommendations roadmap will detail how to improve upon your business’ current security state by utilizing cost-effective tools and practical resources.
Not Quite Ready for A Full Fledged Assessment? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Typical security assessments, require key stakeholders to allocate time for interviews. But what would you say if you could identify relevant cybersecurity threats and business requirements, on your own time and own pace? You’re in luck because we’ve done just that!
The team at Valor Cybersecurity is pleased to offer our FREE Rapid Cyber Threat Assessment today. As a bonus for taking our assessment, we will give you a free 30-minute, consultation with recommended guidance for better protecting your business!
Be Bold, Brave, and Courageous In Your Endeavors
Whether the Valor Team can help you now or in the future, we remain poised to support your business success and protection.
Authors: Greg Tomchick and Jeff White