Practices for maintaining cyber security every business owner should know

As the span of regulations, risks, and budget evolves and your business grows, the maintenance of cyber security shouldn’t just be an afterthought – it should be part of the bedrock of your organisation.

The Cisco 2020 CISO study demonstrated that cyber security remains a high priority among executive business leaders, with an increase in investment for security automation technologies as the scale of complexity increases. 

While it’s helpful to have an automated security team in place to combat cyber attacks, there are several steps you can take as a business to protect yourself:

Strict access control (Zero Trust)

Zero Trust is a holistic information security framework and an essential component of cyber security. Rather than assuming all people and systems operating within a secure setting should be trusted, it relies on constant verification before granting access. 

This can be implemented through a series of steps. Firstly, data access should be managed by a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system. Only 27% of businesses are making use of an MFA system. 

Secondly, employees should be prompted to update devices to combat existing vulnerabilities, and user access to data management applications should be managed through central policies.

The Cisco report demonstrated that more than half of respondents noted that mobile devices are becoming an increasing challenge to defend. It suggests a zero-trust strategy as the best way to remedy this.

Updating regularly

This report showed that 46% of organisations were faced with incidents as a result of unpatched vulnerabilities. This means that a software provider issued an update in response to an issue but an employee failed to run the update.

Breaches to data management environments can cause hefty losses of data, and when patches are rolled out it is crucial to apply them immediately to limit the timeframe in which the vulnerabilities can be exploited.

Monitoring implementations

When cyber security practices are being continually developed and regulated, it becomes important to regularly monitor connectivity on the network or data applications to review how well the security measures are faring. 

Detection utilities should always be managed and routinely updated so that when incidents do arise, they can be properly investigated. Many small and medium-sized businesses have found CyberSmart’s monitoring app helpful for this purpose. It can be installed on any device and up-to-date information on every device’s security status is available through a centralised dashboard.

Centralise security essentials

The biggest factor in the growing challenge of propagating adequate cyber security is the level of complexity as a business scales. When an organisation utilises multiple security solutions, centralising them in an integrated platform reduces the complexity which makes it easier to manage, update and review security essentials. The benchmark found that 42% of respondents were more inclined to give up on maintaining adequate cyber security due to its complexity.

CyberSmart offers several ways for the cyber security of even smaller businesses to thrive, and our Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certification takes complexity into consideration and simplifies the process.