Data breaches have existed since companies began maintaining confidential information. They are not new. Instead, the awareness of them is. Your team must be prepared to deal with unexpected IT disasters that could negatively impact your ability to conduct business. And research suggests many are not as prepared as they think they are.
2020 was unlike any other year in terms of the pathways created by cybercriminals to target vulnerable businesses.
Many companies are not even sure where to begin identifying potential hazards, and so they ignore it. Another common myth that many organizations believe is data breaches are only a concern for big corporations, not realizing hackers prefer to target small and medium-sized businesses. Thieves are lazy and look for the easiest targets.
How can your business be prepared?
Start by conducting an IT risk assessment. It will help determine the risks unique to the type of business and industry your organization is in. Completing the Risk Assessment Framework can help you strategize and prioritize the security risks. It is essential to see where your IT infrastructure is at high risk and where you may want to focus your attention. By proactively addressing potential threats, you can then create budgets and a plan of action.
Identify hazards that would have an impact on your business. These could be anything from a power outage to a natural disaster. Include cyber attacks and things such as a fire in this first part of an assessment.
Follow up determining the impact if something were to happen. Would your business be able to operate if the building you were in burned to the ground? Could your company’s reputation survive if your IT infrastructure was attacked? How would your customers respond knowing that their information was leaked? These are just some basic questions to ask yourself as you perform a Risk Assessment.
Once you have asked a few basic questions, you should start to see where you may need to investigate further. By listing all potential hazards, you can then compile a list and begin to formulate proposed actions. Go the extra step and attached estimated dollar amounts to each risk. How much would it cost to restart your business? What if you lost all your customer information? How simple would it be to rebuild your IT network? What about your database?
Conduct a risk assessment regularly. You want to be able to adapt to changes when they occur. By ensuring that you are ready for whatever threat may come your way, you are steps ahead of many businesses out there. It may be the difference between closing your doors for good or picking up the pieces and carrying on in a new location.