As a business owner, how much time do you spend thinking about the cybersecurity in your organization and the work your IT staff is doing to protect the data you so heavily rely on for your clients? If you’re spending more than a few hours a week delving into it yourself or if you’re not sure how good of a job your IT team is doing, it’s time to bring in a cybersecurity partner to do an audit on your procedures to ensure your most important business asset – your data – is protected.
Being proactive and ensuring all policies, procedures and protocols are being adhered to is much better than reacting when there is a breach and your clients are clamoring for answers to whether their data has been exposed.
Information security and cybersecurity are sometimes murky concepts for those who aren’t involved in it daily – like the professionals from WareGeeks Solutions are.
What can an IT Cybersecurity partner do for your company? Keep in mind, we’re not talking about replacing your current IT team – but acting as an outside consultant, a partner – someone you’d call in to audit your security just as you call in an outside auditor for your financial records.
What value will WareGeeks Solutions bring to your organization?
- Patch Management. We will evaluate any patches, test, approve and deploy them. There are a myriad of critical third-party applications and operating systems patches that need to be deployed. We know that sometimes patches are put off because of potential changes in the user interface, but the human factor needs to be addressed, training implemented and patches deployed for the safety of your data. Patches are deployed to address and repair any vulnerability in the system infrastructure. Patches help reduce risk and mitigate threats.
- Installing access control processes. This is a way to monitor and regulate who has access to particular company resources. Do all of your employees need access to all your data? No. There are scales of who needs access and that needs to be implemented in your protocols and your IT staff needs to ensure the protocols and access are being adhered to. Access control also applies to removing all access when a staffer is let go or quits. There need to be open lines of communication between human resources and the IT staff so they know when to remove someone. This is not a step that can be put off – it needs to be immediate to ensure a disgruntled employee doesn’t inappropriately use data.
- Email is a necessary part of your business operation and hackers know that. Email is one of the most open gateways a hacker can use to gain access to your company. Spam and email protection are crucial to protecting your company from viruses or phishing attacks. If a cybercriminal accesses one email address, he or she can easily put out feelers and get into your entire system and wreak havoc. Email protocols need to be implemented and fully adhered to.
- The company’s most valuable asset – next to employees – is the data. Because of that, there needs to be a data backup and disaster recovery plan in place. BCDR helps maintain data in an authentic, confidential, and accessible manner in the event of a disaster. You need to ensure your data is being safely and frequently backed up; if your business suffers ransomware or other cybersecurity attacks you need to be able to access data, and get your business back up and running without having to pay a ransom! WareGeeks Solutions defines threats to your unique industry and helps you formulate a plan for disaster recovery and ongoing backup. We will want to know who the principles in the disaster recovery plan will be, get them involved, and deploy and test the viability of the plan to ensure all the bases are covered.
- How strong is your firewall? Do you have firewalls in place? A firewall is your company’s first line of defense against a hacker. Your firewall should be strong enough to block unauthorized traffic to your data. We can help configure your firewall to ensure maximum cyber safety. We can also monitor the firewalls and let your staff know if there is an unexpected intruder.
- Malware and anti-virus protection to prevent, detect and more importantly remove malicious programs from your systems. Anti-malware and anti-virus protection software can also detect potential malicious websites and protect your company data from any exposure.
- Setting up Multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your systems. Multi-factor or 2FA is an additional layer of protection for your data. It requires a user to identify him or herself to your system through more than just inputting a password. The MFA can require a code to be sent via email or a cell phone or through a token or single sign-on portal. Without access to the second authentication, it makes it more difficult for a cyber hacker to access your data.
- Education and training of your IT staff, but probably more importantly, the staff who are not in the IT department. Your IT staff is qualified and educated to protect your company data from harm; an employee who is not educated in cybersecurity may not think anything of opening a document that appears to have come from a colleague or a supervisor. Employees need to be trained in your security programs and security protocols. They need to understand what a potential phishing email looks like and to know enough to not open attachments – especially from an outside source. Training and education need to be ongoing – not just when a person is hired. Keep in mind that it is the human factor that leads to most security breaches – and not always malicious.
- Implementation of strict and thorough cybersecurity protocols and policies. These policies need to be from the level of the IT staff down to the mailroom staffer. Your cybersecurity policy needs to spell out the IT procedures, goals, and outcomes for adhering to them and the consequences for straying from them.
Again, don’t wait until there is a breach because honestly, you may not be aware of a breach for months. Imagine the damage to your reputation and your data during that time you were unaware.