The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity Services in West Michigan

Envizion IT works with organizations large and small across West Michigan to ensure the security of their computer networks.
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written by posted on Dec 15, 2021

The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity Services in West Michigan

Cybersecurity risk is a growing challenge and concern for various reasons. Human error is an age-old network compromise malefactor, with negligence and natural curiosity cited as the main reasons for a cybersecurity incident or data breach. However, in recent years, the cyber landscape has changed dramatically, bringing both new technology and new risks. The current state of the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way people live and communicate.

With the number of IoT devices connected devices anticipated to surpass 30.9 billion units by 2025, it’s requiring innovative approaches to managing cyber risks. Technology has played a key role in the ongoing connection of traditional IT with operational technology, potentially exposing networks that were not as easy to attack in the past.

In recent years, there’s been a variety of changes and advancements, but the increased connectivity has presented more opportunities than ever for

bad actors to carry out malicious attacks, steal data and intellectual property, and disrupt a business. These factors (and more) have complicated the decision-making process of businesses. Not only do the previously mentioned factors present complex cyber risks that have to be evaluated, but cyber risks can be difficult to evaluate.

Cybersecurity issues are prevalent, and cybersecurity due diligence and risk assessment should be an ongoing process.

Guide Your Cybersecurity Approach with the 80/20 Rule

Cybersecurity is something that your business must be concerned about. You’ll be faced with the question of whether your business has adequate cybersecurity practices. Today’s sophisticated and advanced threat environment requires robust cybersecurity capabilities such as prevention, detection, and remediation. However, many businesses have IT departments that are short-staffed and overwhelmed, making the creation of a cybersecurity plan appear even more frightening and challenging.

This is why we recommend applying the 80/20 rule (mitigate 80% of your risk with 20% effort). The 80/20 rule can help your business mitigate most cyber threats through awareness and best practices. Some of the key factors in using the 80/20 rule are establishing your priorities and determining which threats are the most threatening. If you list everything as a priority, then you will not be able to get anything noting done. Unfortunately, this can lead to poor cybersecurity practices that leave large threats unchecked.

We will explain some minimum requirements for security, best practices, and security controls that can help you prioritize and get the most out of your cyber security investments.

What Are the Minimum Cybersecurity Requirements for Your Business?

Just like the IRS sets minimum requirements for your accountant to protect your private information, your business should set minimum standards for cybersecurity. So, how do you put your So, how do you put your customers and clients at ease, do the right thing, and help prevent security and data breaches? Ensure that you have the minimum security requirements in place to prevent a successful cyberattack.

Secure Your Accounts

  • Turn on MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
  • Use password management software (i.e. LastPass)
  • Review your authenticated users

Talk about Security

  • Discuss newly identified/commonly used phishing tactics
  • Use security awareness and training solutions (i.e. Knowbe4)
  • Review non-IT related standard operating procedures

Verify Your Backups

  • Ransomware attacks are still prevalent
  • Ensure you will be able to restore data from backups
  • Have cyber insurance coverage against financial losses caused by cyber incidents

Policies, Procedures, and Awareness Can Protect Your Business against Cyber Attacks

Cybersecurity should be a concern for every employee in your organization, not just your IT professionals and business leaders. An effective way to educate employees on the importance of cybersecurity is cybersecurity policies, procedures, and awareness and training that explains everyone’s responsibilities for protecting IT systems and data. Cybersecurity policies and procedures set the standards of behavior for activities such as the encryption of email attachments.

Cybersecurity begins with documentation. The more time and detail you put into your policy documentation, the better foundation your cybersecurity culture will have. You will use your cybersecurity policies and procedures as evidence of compliance, for security training and awareness, and to support business operations.

Your cybersecurity policies and procedures should include things like:

  • Password policies
  • Firewall rules
  • System hardening standards
  • Data retention policies

Your policies and procedures should also include compliance mandates you may be required to follow (i.e. HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR). When it comes to compliance, your employees should all be trained and educated on the compliance requirements. Every compliance mandate has its own requirements and each mandate was created for a specific reason.

Once your policies have been created, don’t just set hand them out and allow everyone to forget about them. Your policies and procedures should become a key part of the workplace. Your cybersecurity policies and procedures should be used in your employee training and education, and you should schedule a time to update them as necessary. Effective cybersecurity is about proper processes. Documentation should have a central place in that process.

Promote Cybersecurity Awareness in Your Business

Cybersecurity should be built into the culture of your business to ensure that your employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and the impact that a data breach can have. Human error continues to be one of the leading causes of cyberattacks, and cybercriminals are quick to take advantage of this lack of cybersecurity awareness to launch a malicious attack. The development of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy will protect sensitive data, reduce threats, and ensure your business’s reputation remains intact.

Effective cybersecurity awareness training is critical in training your employees on how to identify and respond to the ever-growing range of cybersecurity threats. Everyone should receive this training to ensure they have the skills required to identify a cyber threat or attack. Cybersecurity awareness training should be informative and engaging to ensure that everyone knows what is required of them and the importance of their role in protecting the sensitive and confidential data they have access to.

Security awareness training will:

  • Educate staff on the latest cyber threats
  • Provide information on how to avoid phishing emails and other tactics used by bad actors
  • Ensure procedures are followed correctly
  • Reduce the number of security and data breaches
  • Build a culture of compliance

Don’t neglect your business’s security and privacy. Stay protected from cybersecurity threats today by utilizing managed services that are designed to help you achieve the highest data security and compliance standards. Contact Envizion IT to learn more.