Cybersecurity. The word or concept seems to arise at some point in nearly every news feed lately. Its prominence has risen over the past few years as the impact of inadequate cybersecurity and very determined cybercriminals is so substantial – whether you’re a small business or a large, sprawling enterprise.
Before we dive into how to identify your cybersecurity needs, let’s first define cybersecurity. Cybersecurity encompasses all the measures and practices that pertain to protecting systems, networks, and programs from attacks. Attacks can include gaining access to, changing, or even destroying the sensitive information your organization is entrusted with.
The Cost of Insufficient Cybersecurity
As more people are on multiple devices and using stacks of technical resources, cybersecurity measures become ever more important and challenging, as cyberattacks have become increasingly creative and destructive.
An IBM and Ponemon Institute study found that the average cost of a data breach increased 2.6% to USD 4.35 million in 2022 compared to USD 4.24 million in 2021. This is up 12.7% from the 2020 report. Other key report findings:
- The share of organizations deploying zero trust grew to 41% in 2022 compared to 35% in 2021. Organizations that didn’t deploy zero trust incurred an average USD 1 million greater breach costs compared to those that embraced zero trust.
- Stolen or compromised credentials were responsible for 19% of breaches. Phishing was responsible for breaches 16% of the time. And 15% of breaches were caused by cloud misconfiguration.
Small businesses feel this pain as well, with two in five small businesses surveyed in 2020 admitting they had no defensive plans in place. According to Fundera's small business cybersecurity statistics, 43% of cyberattacks are targeted against small businesses.
Related Reading: Cybersecurity for Small Businesses: Plans and Templates
No industry is immune from cybercrime. Just one successful data breach or cyberattack can throw a huge wrench in your operations, not to mention your organization’s reputation for taking care of its customers' or trading partners' sensitive data. By proactively assessing your need for cybersecurity plans, strategies, and tactics you can help prevent:
- Stealing or tampering of sensitive data
- Reputational harm and loss of customer trust
- Substantial fees associated with non-compliance
- Hefty legal fees
- Reduced productivity
Related Reading: How a Data Breach Puts Your Organization at Risk
How to Assess Your Cybersecurity Stance Regarding Data Security
How do you know if your organization needs more layers of cybersecurity to protect its most valuable asset – the data inherent to doing business each day?
First, those in charge of cybersecurity need to assess the unique risks your organization faces and work to minimize them though technological solutions as well as best practices. Securing senior management buy-in is critical to moving beyond this initial assessment step to putting preventative measures in place.
Related Reading: Data Security Practices Every CISCO Should Know
One model to reference to better understand your organization’s status throughout the cybersecurity lifecycle is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF). While this framework originated for large federal agencies, the principals and components included can be useful to organizations of any size.
When it comes to cybersecurity, flexibility is critical as the need for defenses is always evolving. Businesses that approach cybersecurity with a layered mindset tailored to their unique business needs and with regular evaluations of their position can potentially fare better in cybersecurity protection.
Determine Your Unique Cybersecurity Risks
Every business, small and large, faces cybersecurity risks and they can come in many forms, including:
- Threats: These can come in the form of natural disasters, or as cybercriminals determined to access, steal, manipulate, or destroy information at your organization.
- Vulnerabilities: These are areas in your operation that may lack proper protection and inadvertently lead to a threat. It can be as simple as employees leaving passwords out in the open, or unsecure applications in use.
- Risks: Your risk potential lies where threats to your organization can take advantage of your vulnerabilities. One example of a risk you may be taking is using a free file transfer solution instead of a secure managed file transfer tool when collaborating or sending files in and out of your network.
When assessing your unique vulnerabilities and risks, ask questions such as:
- Which industry regulations does my organization need to comply with?
- What types of data do we handle that needs protection?
- How should identified data be stored and transferred?
- What are the employee guidelines for how passwords are created? How are internet and cloud applications tools used? What type of access is granted for remote workers? And how should emails be handled?
- Who will manage and maintain our cybersecurity policy?
- How will your cybersecurity policy be enforced?
Related Reading: Why MFT Should Be Part of Your Cybersecurity Strategy
Incorporate Secure File Transfer into Your Cybersecurity Plan
To start the assessment process of where your organization stands cybersecurity-wise, take the Fortra Cybersecurity Quiz, an 11-question quiz to see what types of cybersecurity solutions would best suit your organization’s unique needs.
You’ll see, that locking down the data flowing in and out of your organization is a key part of robust cybersecurity policies. After all, if your files are not protected at rest and in transit, the other security measures taken can be diminished. The goal: protection of your mission-critical data throughout its lifecycle.
Protecting this data starts with gaining a keen understanding of exactly what data needs to be protected. This also helps define who can access it and where it’s stored. Once you narrow down the data to be protected, you can deploy a file transfer solution, such as GoAnywhere MFT, to protect that information both at rest and while it’s in transit. GoAnywhere offers an easy-to-use, streamlined and centralized way to protect data, reduce human error through automation, and centralize how files are transferred in and out of your organization.
GoAnywhere MFT: Cybersecurity for Your File Transfers
If you already know that your organization needs a more secure way to transfer files, schedule a free demonstration of GoAnywhere and see how easily secure file transfer can be incorporated into your overall cybersecurity policy and processes.