Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

28 June 2022

Some organisations truly believe that cyber security is solely the responsibility of the IT department, but at Askaris, we think differently.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s business, from the CEO to the intern. So let's discuss why everyone in the workplace should be concerned about cybersecurity and what they can do to help protect their organisation.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for small businesses

In today’s digital world, businesses are increasingly reliant on technology. Unfortunately, this dependency exposes organisations to a greater risk of cyberattacks. A cyberattack can result in the loss or theft of sensitive data, downtime, and even reputational damage.

Given the serious consequences of a cyberattack, everyone in the workplace must take cybersecurity seriously. This includes administrators and employees, as well as executives and interns. There are several steps that everyone can take to help protect their organisation against cyber threats.

5 Actionable Steps To Improve Your Business's Security and Boost Security Awareness:

  1. Learn how to assess the assets and systems essential to your company's existence–those that would be difficult to operate without maybe a high-value target for hackers. To keep your digital assets safe, establish appropriate cybersecurity measures now. This is also an excellent time to set up BYOD and mobile/remote personnel security standards.

  2. Starting with your most important assets, such as those in the human capital category, build your cyber protections around them first. The goal is to develop a culture of cybersecurity that includes staff knowing how to protect themselves and the company and an understanding of cyber threats as your company expands or adds new technology or capabilities. In addition, encourage your employees to make privacy a top priority and educate them about their responsibilities and the importance of safeguarding consumer and employee data. This is also where a robust security awareness program comes into play.

  3. Knowing when something has gone wrong is at the heart of detection. We have fire alarms in our businesses and homes that notify us of issues. In cybersecurity, the sooner you are made aware of an attack, the faster you will be able to limit the damage and resume normal operations. Security technologies perform an essential role in prevention and detection.

  4. Even with all of the precautions that we can take, cyber-attacks may still occur. Being prepared to respond thoughtfully and comprehensively will reduce risks for your company while also sending a positive message to your customers and staff. As a result, it's critical to prepare for a response. A Cyber Insurance policy, for example, may assist you in avoiding significant financial loss after a cyber incident.

  5. The last stage is the recovery measures that must be taken following a cyber attack response. Recovery, like the response stage, requires careful planning. The ultimate goal of the recovery stage is to move from the immediate aftermath of a cyber incident to the complete restoration of normal systems and operations. A data backup and recovery solution that provides immediate copies of your data allow you to recover your information quickly and minimises downtime if you target a cyber attack.

Create A Responsible Cyber Security Mindset Through Five Core Values:

The idea of the human firewall is based on recognising that cyber security is everyone's concern and that employees are an essential component of any successful cybersecurity strategy. This is a concept in which people act as a shield against human-focused cyber threats, including phishing emails, social engineering attempts, and other malicious behaviours.

Creating a responsible cybersecurity mindset in the workplace begins with establishing five core values that are centered on protecting your organisation against cyber threats and ensuring that your employees remain vigilant about their role in this process:

The security-first mindset is upheld by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in its publication “Security is everybody’s job.” It sets out five core values that are used to create a cyber security culture that NIST deems “critical” to a successful cyber security posture:

  1. Security is a fundamental business requirement.

  2. Everyone in the organisation has a role to play in security.

  3. Security requires continuous improvement and adaptation.

  4. Security risks must be managed proactively.

  5. Incidents will happen, despite our best efforts, so we must be prepared to respond and recover quickly and effectively from them.

These core values serve as the foundation for creating an organisation-wide culture of responsibility and vigilance with regard to cyber threats. They also help ensure that employees take their role in security seriously by making it clear that everyone's contribution is critical to protecting against cyber-attacks and data breaches.

1. Security is a fundamental business requirement

Cyber security is essential to protecting your business and ensuring the continuity of operations. However, this requires a strong commitment from all levels of management and employees to always uphold a security-first mindset.

2. Everyone in the organisation has a role to play in security

Having a culture that recognises the important role each individual plays in security is essential. Everyone must be aware of their responsibility to help protect the organisation against cyber threats and take action accordingly.

3. Security requires continuous improvement and adaptation

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing, so it's important to review and update your security posture continuously. This includes implementing new technologies and processes as needed and keeping up with the latest threats and trends to stay ahead of emerging threats.

4. Security risks must be managed proactively

Managing security risks proactively involves identifying potential vulnerabilities as well as mitigating and addressing these risks before they become a problem. This requires ongoing monitoring, testing, and threat assessments that inform your overall risk management strategy.

5. Incidents will happen, despite our best efforts, so we must be prepared to respond and recover quickly and effectively from them

No matter how well you plan or how strong your security posture is, there is always the possibility that an incident will occur. Having a robust incident response plan is essential for quickly and effectively recovering from an incident. This includes having a clear understanding of who is responsible for what and having the necessary tools and resources in place to minimise the impact of an incident.

By establishing these core values, you can create a strong foundation for a culture of responsibility and vigilance that will help to protect your organisation against cyber threats.

With a strong commitment to security at all levels, you can help ensure your business's continued success and growth in today's constantly evolving digital landscape.

For advanced cyber security advice, guidance, and support from leading cyber security experts, contact us today to arrange a FREE call.


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