Cybersecurity: managing IT risk for today’s business

With all the cybersecurity threats we face today, how can a business easily manage their IT risk?Cybersecurity risk is a serious concern for businesses in Australia. Even if you have an in-house IT team, chances are they are well-occupied with keeping your business and its systems running smoothly; unfortunately, this doesn’t allow much time to develop expertise on the myriad cyber-threats that continue to appear on a daily basis.IT risk management is unlike any other type of business risk management in that no one solution takes care of it all. It’s not a situation where an insurance policy will protect you from what may come, nor is it a simple matter of keeping your passwords safe and making sure the door to the server room stays locked.

Today’s cyber threats have the potential to devastate

Today’s threats are pervasive and potentially devastating. Additionally, the consequences of a breach are becoming more and more concerning. Even with the best technology protections and cybersecurity insurance in place, a single breach could cost you millions of dollars, not to mention your reputation.

Managing your cybersecurity risk: identify, assess, mitigate, respond, review

Managing your business’ IT risks begins with a risk assessment. Small businesses, SMBs, SMEs, and enterprise all have different risk factors, but the process is intrinsically the same:

1. Identify risks

This is an important initial step and should cover the following areas:

  • Equipment failure
  • Power interruption
  • Application failure
  • Malicious software
  • Incoming cyber-attacks
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters

The development of a disaster recovery plan is essential to your business continuity and should take all of these factors into account.

2. Assess your risks

The terrestrial disasters mentioned above will depend greatly on your geographical area, expected weather patterns and other variables. As for your cybersecurity risks, these are significantly more complex to determine. A specialist in IT security can test your system using various methods to identify weak points in your network. Ethical, or “white hat” hacking is a way of safely applying known threats to your system to see how well it responds. Once vulnerabilities are ascertained, steps can be taken to shore up your defences.

3. Mitigate your risks

The next step in the process is to reduce your potential for disaster. This means having a solid disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place that covers every potentiality. In the case of IT risk mitigation, this would entail protecting your network from the inside out. Some of the ways that you might mitigate IT risk include:

  • Deploy multi-factor authentication
  • Deploy a single-sign-on solution
  • Regular training to help employees recognize the signs of malicious attack
  • Development of a company-wide cybersecurity protocol
  • Proactive access control for all workers
  • Keep all software, firewalls, and anti-virus solutions up-to-date
  • Monitor all systems closely for anomalies, failures, and weaknesses

Many of the solutions mentioned above are cloud-deployed and can protect your network and employees quite well. However, if you don’t have an in-house IT team, you would be well-advised to hire an IT consultancy that specialises in cybersecurity. There is a much greater risk in taking it all on yourself as ongoing monitoring and maintenance are key.

4. Respond and review

As your company grows in size, having specialized expertise grows in importance. Risks need to be understood and communicated in such a way that employees understand that it’s not just something for others to worry about. If you are in a highly regulated industry such as legal or healthcare, this is even more crucial, as confidential information stored on your servers may be at risk if there is a breach.Periodic reviews of your IT security strategy are important, as your responses may need to be adjusted to account for emerging or evolving threats. Partnering with a trusted IT consultancy is your best choice when developing your DRP and managing IT risk. Greenlight ITC has been supporting businesses in Melbourne and Sydney with managed IT security and compliance services that are tailored to your needs. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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