How to Develop a Cybersecurity Strategy

employee on laptop implementing a cybersecurity strategy

Last year, there were 2,365 cyberattacks in the US. 343,338,964 people were victimized as a result. Would you want your business or customers to be part of those numbers? It’s safe to say that the internet is a vital part of the economy at this point. Almost every business takes advantage of it to advertise, sell, purchase, and network. But as the internet has become more advanced, so have the techniques and technology that are used to damage and steal data or worse. Because perpetrators tend to choose their targets based on highest reward and lowest risk, a good cybersecurity strategy can make the difference between your business closing and staying open.

An argument could be made that data is one of the most valuable forms of currency. It can come in the form of bank account details, personal information, sensitive intelligence, or various other things—all of which can be damaging if in the wrong hands. That’s why cybercriminals are so abundant and dangerous. If they get their hands on what they’re after, it could ruin their victims. Cybersecurity solutions are the shield you’ll need to protect your livelihood from them.

To make sure your strategy is sound, let’s go over a few of the important things to do when developing it.

Assessing Risks and Vulnerabilities

Before you take any action on implementing a strategy, you should first identify the threats your business faces—current and potential. Part of this is understanding the types of threats that could show up. Malware, phishing, ransomware, and even insider threats should all be considered here.

Once you’ve identified the threats, conduct a risk assessment to determine the impact of each threat. How will it affect your business? How likely is it to succeed?

Establishing Clear Objectives

Without defined goals for your cybersecurity strategy, you’ll end up taking a shot in the dark when deciding on what measures to implement and how to implement them. If you don’t decide that you want to be safe from phishing attempts, you probably won’t know to mandate employee training on the matter, and that threat could slip through the cracks.

The cybersecurity strategy shouldn’t be treated as a side project or put on the backburner, either. Can you imagine if your business suffered a cyberattack and criminals got a hold of all your data because you decided security could wait? It needs to be part of your overall business strategy if you want it to be effective.

Selecting Appropriate Tools and Technologies

The good news is that there’s a huge offering of software and other tools available to help you prevent cyberattacks of all kinds. What you need to consider here is the compatibility each solution has with your existing business systems. Is the technology scalable? Does it have good reviews and customer service?

We get that it may be tempting to buy the most advanced version of every security solution but know that this is not a necessity in many cases. Spending money on a system you’ll only utilize half the features of isn’t the wisest use of your financial resources. The best course of action is a security solution that caters to your needs without unnecessary fluff. If you’re looking at options that provide safety measures for online stores but you don’t have one, that’s wasted money.

Implementing Policies and Procedures

Once you decide on software and other cybersecurity solutions, your journey is far from over. In the end, it comes down to taking cyber threats seriously. Develop policies that outline procedures and practices that keep your organization’s security in mind. Make sure you cover all your bases here: data protection, access control, and incident response should all be included.

One big oversight many companies make is putting all their effort into prevention and none into response. What if you think you have a rock-solid prevention plan and you still experience a data breach? Make sure to allocate enough time and resources into coming up with a comprehensive emergency management plan.

Training and Awareness Programs

Your team is only as good as the weakest link, and that’s especially true in this situation. Many successful cyberattacks are a result of the perpetrator taking advantage of a careless (or clueless) employee. You can avoid this by holding mandatory training sessions that not only teach your employees what to do, but the potential consequences if a cyberattack succeeds. Start by teaching them the cybersecurity basics. When they know what’s at stake and how they can protect the company, each team member will be a stronger link in the chain.

Like any good employee training, these courses should be recurring. Employee onboarding and annual workshops are great opportunities to keep everyone’s security sense in top shape!

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

As technology gets more complex, so will cyberattacks. New tactics and tools will always be showing up, and you owe it to your business to stay informed of the latest schemes. When you see them coming and are ready, you can prevent any potential attacks. The aforementioned routine training is a great starting point. Keep your security software up-to-date, read industry trends, and make sure your passwords are all rock-solid.

Get Ready for a Better Cybersecurity Strategy

Developing a cybersecurity strategy is crucial for your business’s survival these days. By finding the right fit for software solutions, training your employees, and making security procedures part of your operations, you can avoid digital catastrophe. Not sure where to start? The experts at GEM Technology can help!