There’s too many reasons for sleepless nights nowadays. Cyber risk does not have to be one of them.
Unfortunately, if you answer 'Yes' to any of the following questions, cybersecurity likely weighs too heavily on your mind:
- Are you unsure of all the technology in your business that needs to be secured? Do you have visibility into your entire IT environment? If not, how could you possibly use your existing security tech to its maximum effectiveness?
- Are you getting questions from your boss or the board that you don't know how to answer? Questions like “Are we doing enough in cybersecurity?" or "Are we vulnerable to the kind of attack I just heard about in the news?"
- Deep down inside, when no one is listening, do you know that it could be your boss pictured in the next edition of the Wall Street Journal apologizing for a breach?
- Do you lack a plan for how to protect your business if a partner, client, or supplier gets hacked?
- When things hit the fan, do you know who to call for help?
If you answered "Yes" to some or all of these questions, then you've got classic symptoms of cybersecurity anxiety. The good news, however, is that you're not alone, and there is a solution.
But, don’t just take our word for it. Let us walk you through these questions and see if it begins to give you some peace of mind.
People and Technology
This is a challenging question to answer today. Shadow IT is rampant in companies as departments sign up for the latest and greatest in SaaS without alerting their Head of IT. Anywhere data is flowing between your systems and outside vendors is a new attack vector that needs to be addressed. Talk to your help desk and systems admins: what are they using? How secure is it? How does it expose your systems to risk
Ultimately, regardless of the technology you have, it's no good unless you have the people - stewards and protectors of your data and systems. You need experts to manage the security tools. You need to invest in the processes they are undertaking, both on the security side and on the business side. And you need to be testing every day to make sure the steps being taken are working. A trusted partner, say a friendly MDR vendor with vCISO services, would go a long way in managing your tools, testing your processes and protecting your environment.
Board and Leadership Expectations
At first, the idea that you're getting questions from the leadership and executive level that you can't answer would seem terrifying. No one wants to be in that position.
But try to see the silver lining: if they're asking about cybersecurity, it shows they want to do something to protect the business. They need to understand the IT and cybersecurity needs of the company so that they can make decisions and address the issue. This is your opportunity to get resources allocated to the problem.
If you're in a position to do so, reach out to cybersecurity product and services vendors. Is building an in-house SOC an option? Do you have the capabilities to do security assessments yourself? Is hiring external experts the better, more affordable choice? See what the experts say and what the costs look like to give yourself the information you need to make an informed decision.
If you think about it, news coverage is doing everyone a favour by alerting us to the nature of significant attacks and their ramifications. The concern arises when their coverage only covers the attacks, not the solutions (often so).
Depending on the headline or story, you can identify steps to take to protect your organization. Is the story about a newly discovered vulnerability? You can determine if you're at risk and download the patch. Is your OS at the end of its supported life? Ask yourself whether you're positioned to upgrade to a new OS, and, if not, whether your systems have all the final updates to ensure you're as protected as you can be. Always practice this kind of good security hygiene.
If you're not positioned to do this kind of assessment yourself, consider engaging an external expert like ActZero. Outside experts can consult on strategy, run vulnerability scans, and advise you on how the latest newsworthy hack will affect your company.
Our systems are ever-more integrated with clients, partners, and suppliers. While this may enhance our workflows, each of these interactions can also be an attack vector.
Assess which systems interact with your partners and talk to them about their integrations and cybersecurity capabilities. On your end, speak to the people who manage integrations with partners—people in your Finance or Accounts Payable, for instance. Understand how the systems are integrated and how they interact so you can understand your vulnerabilities.
Don't forget about more general interactions, too. Email is a potent attack vector. Is your staff phishing-proof? What are your containment strategies if something malicious gets into your systems?
Uncertainty About What's Next
You've got a problem or a vulnerability you can't deal with or don't know how to deal with on your own. Do you know what help you need? Do you know who to call?
Cybersecurity is a tremendously broad field. There are thousands of vendors across dozens of categories. Should you call an incident responder and put them on retainer? Do you call an anti-virus provider? Is that enough? What about all the other technology in your environment—how do you secure all of that? You could consult with your peers and see what they do, but that might only reinforce your fears. What if they do nothing?
As a small-to-medium-sized business, the truth is that you likely can't afford what you need to do to ensure your systems are protected. Your best bet might be to engage the services of an outside consulting firm, like ActZero. With our MDR service for a low monthly cost, we can actively protect and defend your systems from malicious actors. And by taking advantage of our virtual CISO (vCISO) offering, you can get the benefit of an on-staff CISO who will identify improvements and changes you need to make, and steer your cybersecurity policy POV, all without having to hire a new executive.
ActZero Can Help
Remember: you're not alone. Others feel cybersecurity anxiety, too. There's a reason the cybersecurity industry is so big: people want experts to turn to for answers and solutions.
And the answer is that you don't need to build everything yourself. There are partners like ActZero who you can rely on for solutions built to suit the needs of small-to-medium-sized businesses like yours. So be in touch today so that we can answer your questions, address your problems, and alleviate your cybersecurity anxiety.