Assets critical to the operation of a business are vital and must be protected. These assets may include personnel or payroll information, employee records, or customer information. Data breaches are increasingly common, leading to a loss of confidence from consumers or other businesses, which may never be recovered later.
There are steps which can be taken to limit the risks of a problem with information defense. Here are a few thoughts in this regard.
Where Is the Business Vulnerable?
Take a global, 10,000 feet vantage point on the business and its systems. Consider where information assets are stored and how that relates to network access. Secondary systems can be vulnerable but still make information unsafe because a single vulnerability may lead to a cascading series of issues that a hacker could easily exploit.
Start with the Highest Priorities
With companies and other organizations with a limited IT security budget, unfortunately, it does come down to a matter of prioritization. Under this scenario, there is not enough money to protect all assets to the same degree. Firstly, unprotectable assets due to funding issues need to be offline wherever possible. Secondly, free or low-cost security tools are better than none when sticking to well-regarded tools from reputable companies.
Prepare a list of the highest priority assets to protect and work down the list. Draw up a list of tools and actions required for complete protection of these assets and a layered approach with different security proposals based on various budget levels. The question will arise whether it’s best to fully protect the top three resources and minimally protect the rest or offer incomplete protection to all assets instead. Wherever possible, outline the two cases to management and let them sign off on the plan they wish to proceed with.
Maintain Staff Training
Create and protect the staff training budget. You’re only as good as the people who work in the IT security team. While having the latest tools and the budget to cover them is important, without well-trained employees that can effectively deploy the tools, they’re next to useless.
Don’t let budget cuts encroach on the training budget, otherwise, this will come back to bite you ass later.
Stay Constantly Vigilant
It’s easy to not experience a cyber-attack or cyber-crime and believe you’re safe. Establish regular routines to check your defenses and systems. Assign someone to verify that these routines are being followed correctly. Create and maintain accountability by ensuring disciplinary action is taken against anyone who fails to follow correct procedures with the monitoring processes.
A failure to notice an attack in progress can lead to a further loss of data or a data leak because the intrusion went undetected for too long. Make sure this does not happen.
IT Security Education
An online information security degree is a useful way to focus on the data security issues that are facing government agencies, multi-national companies, and smaller companies alike. Norwich University runs an online MSIA program that is perfect for graduates who wish to hone their skills further in the information security space.
For companies and other organizations, ensuring data security is a critical factor in their success. Any setback with a security breach potentially sets a business back to basics in a way that it may never recover from. Make sure your company’s defenses are strong enough to protect mission-critical assets from negative outcomes.