Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are at risk of experiencing a cyberattack now more than ever. In fact, SMBs are a top target of cybercriminals now that there are more remote workers, cloud services, and internet-connected devices than ever before. According to the 2020 State of SMB Cybersecurity report from ConnectWise, 77% of SMBs are concerned about cyberattacks within the next six months, and 73% plan to increase their cybersecurity within the next 12 months. However, the same report showed that only 57% of SMBs have in-house cybersecurity experts, and only 43% outsource their cybersecurity. With a whopping average total cost of $3.86 million for a data breach, it is arguably well worth the time and financial investment it takes to create a cybersecurity roadmap.
Overcoming the Disconnect
A strong majority of SMBs surveyed reported they are fearful they will be the next victims of a cyberattack, yet most of them are not taking the necessary steps to establish their cybersecurity program. Businesses are aware of what is at stake. SMBs cited data loss, customer loss, reputation damage, length of IT downtime, and legal ramifications as the largest areas of concern. So where is the disconnect? Clearly, SMBs are reporting being concerned and even more understanding the consequences of an attack; yet most lack an action plan. We get that cybersecurity planning seems like a daunting task. It can be overwhelming to consider the time, money, and expertise it takes to proactively prevent a cyberattack. So many companies do what they can and hope for the best. Unfortunately, hoping for the best in our current cyber threat landscape is extremely risky.
You Don’t have to Roll the Dice
The good news is you don’t have to “roll the dice”. Someone once said the hardest part of accomplishing any task is getting started. Overcome that initial hurdle by committing to keeping your cybersecurity roadmap simple and feasible. While there is no one size fits all solution in cybersecurity, there is a way to map out a series of reasonable assessments and solutions to reach your ultimate destination - improvement of your overall security posture. Start off on the right path by following a baseline CIS strategy that includes three important cybersecurity services/solutions: vulnerability assessments, controls assessments, and employee training.
Gain insight into the current state of your security by first engaging in a vulnerability assessment. This is an important and economical cybersecurity service that provides a great return on your investment as well as tangible actions for improvement. This assessment identifies, quantifies, and ranks security vulnerabilities in your computing environment; resulting in a prioritized risk rating of the findings to help you prioritize remediation efforts/actions.
Determine your adherence to CIS basic security controls and industry-specific guidelines, by engaging in a controls audit of your technical, physical, and administrative controls. This audit evaluates your environment against the 20 CIS controls that cover inventory control of software and hardware as well as the vulnerability management and secure configuration of these assets. Additionally, this audit assesses the controlled use of administrative privileges and system auditing when using these devices. A controls audit should also include policies that control and dictate the protections in place for users and devices such as audit systems, email, and web browser protections as well as endpoint and network security. As part of a controls audit, deficiencies should be evaluated and assigned a risk rating.
Security Awareness Training
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: your number one threat is well-intended employees. All it takes is one click on the wrong thing to bring your business operations to a halt. Regular, ongoing security awareness training designed for adult learners is the most effective way to mitigate that threat. Be sure to look for training with engaging content as well as phishing assessments and analytic tools to track progress.
Don’t let the constantly evolving nature of cybersecurity threats overwhelm you. Move closer to your goal of protecting your organization, your employees, and yourself by creating a feasible, actionable roadmap.
TechGuard Security offers all the above services and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you map out your path to cybersecurity maturity.
Written by Elizabeth Dasenbrock
Elizabeth Dasenbrock is a marketer/graphic designer whose mission has always been to creatively express stories and ideas. Her skill set allows her to convey concepts to particular audiences in a visually appealing way. At TechGuard, she works on the marketing team with a focus on graphic design. In her free time, she can usually be found working on personal creative projects, tending to her houseplants, or spending time with friends and family.