The Cybersecurity “Great Eight” — Answer These Questions to See if Your Firm Needs More Protection
3 min read
- Are you in a highly regulated industry?
If your firm is in a highly regulated industry (HRE), you know you are subject to laser-focused compliance mandates. Yet, despite these regulations, cyberattacks still occur, often because data pools in these industries are so attractive. Consider the healthcare industry, where more than one million sensitive patient records are stolen each year. Avoiding these hacks — and significant fines — is easier if you have an outside cybersecurity expert to verify your compliance.
- Does your organization take a reactive stance to cybersecurity?
Per research from the Ponemon Institute, barely 40 percent of organizational leaders report their firm has a “high” ability to minimize/mitigate IT security risks. Most of the remainder still use a reactive approach to threats, focusing on closing holes on a case-by-case basis for the latest hack targeting the business community. Prudent business leaders will have an outside firm conduct a cybersecurity evaluation (and fortify protections, if needed) at least once a year; preferably more often.
- Is your firm in a heavily targeted industry?
Wherever a lot of data lives, cyberthieves will focus. In addition to healthcare, mentioned above, some of the most heavily targeted industries are financial services, government agencies, and higher education. If your firm retains a significant number of data records, you need the most stringent cybersecurity possible — and outside verification that you are following best practices.
- Are your teams falling behind in responding to alerts?
Across an entire security stack, a cybersecurity team can face from 10,000 to more than 1 million alerts per day. Even when technology filters them to identify the most troublesome alerts, statistics show most in-house teams can’t evaluate them all.
- Do you have the resources or expertise to cover endpoint security?
With so many computerized devices today, protecting servers from cyberthreats isn’t enough. Nearly 30 percent of cyberattackers gain access to data through network endpoints — workstations, laptops and mobile devices. Furthermore, despite years of warnings, some 55 percent of businesses still don’t encrypt removable devices, leaving them even more exposed to data leaks.
- Do you worry you don’t have sufficient in-house cybersecurity expertise?
According to an annual global survey on the state of IT, 53 percent of organizations have a troublesome shortage of cybersecurity skills. Even when teams are short-staffed but “handling the volume,” they likely don’t have time to engage in the frequent, advanced training that empowers them to operate effectively in all scenarios.
- Are you equipped to circumvent ransomware?
Ransomware, where cyberthieves take control of computer systems and hold them for ransom, continues to escalate. Experts caution against paying ransomware, which just emboldens criminals. A much better approach is to have redundant backups, with all servers fully encrypted so they will lock down in the event of unauthorized access.
- Are all of your personnel trained to recognize suspicious emails?
If the answer is yes, then good for you! But whether they are, nor not, you should back them up with a robust email filtering solution. Humans are the single worst cause of data breaches, due largely to their gullibility. Take that responsibility out of their hands with stringent anti-spam and malware filtering.
We hope you have found these questions helpful — and your answers made you feel better about your cybersecurity. If any of them raised red flags that your defenses might be lacking, we invite you to contact our cybersecurity experts for a quick chat. Businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees are the most targeted “industry” today, due to their lack of cybersecurity protections. Don’t be one of them. Contect the Managed IT team at Novatech for an assessment novatech.net