Cybersecurity Breaches: Are You Prepared?

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Data breaches are an increasing threat to the viability of any business, yet most businesses are not prepared to handle the costs associated with a data breach. Every business maintains proprietary data in the form of customer lists, trade secrets and Personally Identifiable Information, or “PII,” which is protected by law. In addition to initial expenses incurred to investigate a breach, there may be other costs associated with potential litigation. Understanding your cybersecurity risk will allow you to be prepared when malicious activity occurs, so that decisions can be made efficiently and effectively.

Stay up to date on the most recent hacks and scams affecting your cybersecurity.

New regulations regarding the handling of personal and confidential information are important, but no compliance regulation is designed to protect your business and your operations. Cybersecurity is an organization-wide issue. While the ultimate responsibility falls on the owners, executives and board members, everyone has a role in preventing cybersecurity breaches.

Encouraging individuals at all levels to be more aware is excellent advice and an easy way to improve cybersecurity awareness. Being aware means being present and paying attention to what is going on around you, and awareness is a conscious effort. The goal isn’t to convince people to be negative or pessimistic, just to be slightly more skeptical.

Cybersecurity is more than just an IT issue.

How to Prevent, Detect and Respond to Cybersecurity Issues
In order for a business to take on the seemingly daunting task of securing and protecting its assets—electronic or otherwise—several cybersecurity efforts must be integrated. This can be accomplished by addressing three general areas of cybersecurity: prevention, detection and response.

Prevention of Cybersecurity Breaches
The ultimate goal of cybersecurity is to prevent an incident or a breach from occurring. Preventing cybersecurity breaches begins with establishing a budget. Helpful security measures can be implemented without breaking the bank, as long as the business is effective in communicating its goals to the entire organization.

It’s important to prioritize the development of a culture where cybersecurity is seen as an element critical to success. Leadership should be promoting strong cybersecurity practices and ensure that activities like the following are addressed on an ongoing basis:

  • Security awareness training
  • Vendor management
  • Event detection and response
  • Incident and contingency planning

Estimate what percentage of your overall budget should be spent on cybersecurity.

Building a culture that not only follows best practices but is also aware of cybersecurity risk within the organization is key to preventing a cybersecurity event. It’s also important to have a third party assess current risks. Applying what you learn from this assessment will help prioritize tasks and secure your systems, networks and applications with a strategy to prevent every attempted security breach.

Detection of Cybersecurity Incidents
Preventing 100% of attempted security breaches is impossible. To defend against future attacks, you can implement a strategy to monitor and detect every attempt to compromise security. Most incidents begin with events that appear on system and network logs. If an organization learns to identify events from technical sources and reports that pose real threats to the security and operations, it can then be determined what, if anything, needs to be done to prevent a full security breach.

Response to Cybersecurity Incidents
The term “incident response” has always been used in the context of dealing with a security breach. These days, some level of forensics capability, or “forensics response,” is required as well. The inclusion of a forensics approach to handling incidents will ensure you have documented a defensible process to defend your actions for legal obligations as well as keep your business operating securely. It’s important to strategize in order to make informed decisions on how to respond to events.

The following tips can help you develop a defensible process:

  • Use a third party for incident response capability assessments as well as regulatory compliance.
  • Use internal IT staff for business continuity and recovery during an incident.
  • Use a third party to manage the incident response and conduct the investigation.
    • o It is important that this third party is trained and qualified in forensic investigation to handle incident response in a way to prepare for any potential future litigation that may surface.
  • Ensure you are regularly conducting response activities on events that are a potential threat to your organization. Do not wait to declare something an incident based on compliance standards alone.

Fraud can happen to anyone.

A business that is disrupted due to a cybersecurity breach feels the pressure to restore operations immediately to minimize the disruption. In this situation, our team of experts managed the forensics response, properly investigated the issue, and provided risk analysis and additional technical resources. The emergency was resolved in the short-term and we provided long-terms solutions to improve prevention, detection and response capabilities.

The Importance of Implementing a Cybersecurity Plan
Cybersecurity threats and cyberattacks have increased dramatically over the past decade. These attacks have exposed sensitive personal and business information, disrupted the critical operations of organizations and imposed high costs on the economy and businesses. It is imperative you stay informed about the continuously changing forms of cybersecurity threats and develop appropriate, cost-effective controls to safeguard your businesses from data breaches.

Learn more about how cybersecurity can affect your organization and protect yourself from potential threats.

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