Did you know that more than 50 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) experienced a cyber-attack in the previous year? Cybercriminals tend to be opportunistic. They target the unprepared. Unfortunately, far too many SMBs don’t have a plan to prevent or respond to cyber-attacks.
SMBs can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cybercriminals by preparing a cyber security strategy. Let’s look at the essential elements of an effective strategy.
Prevention. The primary goal of every cyber security strategy should be prevention. An effective prevention strategy requires:
- Culture Shift. Emphasize cyber security as part of the corporate culture at every level, starting at the top.
- Funding. Allocate sufficient resources to implement and maintain effective cybersecurity measures (education, technology, insurance).
- Training. Employee error is the root cause of most data security breaches. SMBs must constantly train employees to understand, identify and avoid potential cyber threats.
Detection. SMBs must be able to detect cyberattacks when they happen. An effective detection strategy requires:
- Technology. Cyberattacks are so sophisticated that SMBs need quality intrusion detection systems that are routinely updated to remain current with evolving threats.
- Real-Time Alerts. Tracking attacks provides data that can be used to generate real-time alerts.
- Documentation. Records make it easier to evaluate attack trends and characteristics and update strategies accordingly.
Mitigation. A rapid response to a cyberattack is critical to limiting the damage. An effective mitigation strategy includes:
- Response Plans. Once an attack is detected, SMBs must be ready to contain, assess and respond to the threat. A response plan should specifically identify personnel and designate responsibilities in the event of an attack.
- Periodic Evaluations. Remediation and mitigation strategies must be reviewed and updated periodically to remain current with constantly evolving cyber threats.
Insurance. Preparation is important, but it isn’t always enough. SMBs should have Cyber Perils Insurance Coverage to protect against various cyber threats and liability exposures, including the cost of complying with data breach notice laws.
Please contact us if you would like more information about insurance specifically designed to protect against cyber threats and data security breaches.