Does My Business Really Need Cyber Security?

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    Whether you’re the head of a major corporation riding high on the LSE or you’re running a small e-commerce store out of your bedroom in your spare time, Cyber Security should be a serious concern for you.

    Despite years of warnings, many smaller companies still aren’t taking Cyber Crime seriously, working under the false assumption that they’re “too small” to be seen as a worthwhile target for hackers and therefore seeing the cost of installing strong defences as unjustifiable.

    In reality, smaller business are seen by cybercriminals as easier targets, with fewer defences between them and your customer data and intellectual property. Assuming you’re too small to be hit is a recipe for disaster, especially now: a Symantec study earlier this year showed that in 2015, nearly half of all cyberattacks were on companies with less than 250 staff, while the latest Government Security Breaches Survey found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of small organisations reported a security breach in the last year.

    Companies need to stop making excuses and start focusing on coming up with the best Cyber Security plan for them no matter how big or small the organisation.

    Convincing your board that you need a Cyber Security plan is just the first hurdle. How should you get started? There are three key things to make sure you’re thinking about at every stage of the process:

    1. Does your solution fit your company?

    Unfortunately, there is no “ready-made”, “off the shelf” or “out of the box” solution out there that will work perfectly for every company. The exact nature of your Cyber Security plan will vary wildly based on a wide variety of factors, including industry, technologies being used and size of the organisation.

    It can be counter-productive to look at other companies for an example of what your business’s Cyber Security infrastructure should look like, as they will most likely be facing a very different set of risks. Instead, you need to invest in a bespoke solution tailored to the specifics of your organisation.

    2. Is everyone on the same page?

    If only your IT team understands the cybersecurity plan, they’ll be the only people acting on and enforcing it – but anyone in your organisation could inadvertently expose you to cybercrime. It’s vital to make sure that the plan is communicated to the entire company, in terms they can understand and know how to act on.

    3. Do you have the people you need to build and enforce the plan?

    A well-conceived Cyber Security plan is invariably going to be one that has some real industry expertise behind it. It may well be beyond the capabilities of your current IT staff – it’s more crucial than ever for businesses to reach into the expanding pool of specialist Cyber Security talent to find workers who can help refine a security strategy. If you’re a bigger company, you may need a permanent team to work on Cyber Security full time, for a smaller firm you may need to bring on a contractor just to set up your cyber defences and then later to revisit and review them.

    Fortunately for organisations, experts like these are cropping up left and right. With the obvious demand in the market more and more IT professionals are dedicating themselves to security work, and recent years have seen a number of universities begin offering specialist degrees in the area.

    By bringing on new talent and making sure that everyone at the company is on the same page, a business can take a major proactive leap toward rolling out the kind of Cyber Security program that will work to minimise their specific risks. In 2016, such a resource is an absolute necessity – for any business.