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2020 is finally here, whether we are ready for it or not! With the new year brings new challenges to organizations across all industries. With technologies on the rise and criminals only gaining more and more resources, organizations may struggle to keep up in 2020. Below are three basic principles to better protect your organization heading into the new year, and to build a strong foundation for years to come. It doesn’t matter if your organization is a small business just starting out, or a mature company that has been around for years. These three building blocks are essential, but often overlooked.
Implementing a Security Awareness Program
The biggest threat to an organization can be its own employees if they are not properly educated and trained on cybersecurity which is a terrifying thought. The very people employed by your company and put in place to make your business successful could be the ones to cost your business thousands of dollars through ransomware, or lead to damage to your reputation if a data breach were to occur. The good news is this can be an easy fix and a great investment to get your security program on track for 2020 with all the evolving threats. The first step is education. All employees within an organization need to be educated through security awareness training of some kind. It doesn’t matter if it is the custodian; all employees must be receiving training, so they are prepared in all scenarios. All it takes is one bad click because one of your employees lacked training to be effected by ransomware and your company will need to pay thousands of dollars to get your data back. Not a good way to start 2020! There are many different approaches organizations use with security awareness training, but the key is to start doing something to effectively educate and test your employees.
Policies and Procedures
Key number two to getting your organization on track for 2020 is developing, and more importantly following, your policy and procedure set. Policies are essentially the rules and regulations of an organization. They are the backbone to a well-structured organization. If your policies say to do something a certain way, that’s the way It needs to be done every time or you need to go back and revise your policy set. Policies are useful in so many ways, such as accountability, structure, and overall direction of the organization. Developing and implementing a full policy set can seem overwhelming but there are organizations and tools out there that can help. When you have completed the policy set and are adhering to those policies, your organization will run smoothly and it will avoid many cybersecurity risks.
Performing a Risk Assessment
My third and final key to getting your organization on track is performing an IT security risk assessment. Once you have trained your employees through security awareness training and implemented a policy set, it’s time to perform a risk assessment. Note that I say risk assessment and not audit. A risk assessment is a tool that can be used to identify the gaps in your organization’s cybersecurity program. It will help you prioritize your efforts on what needs the most attention first to better protect your organization from all threats. It is important that you use a framework relevant to your industry, or a general IT security risk assessment framework.
Tying it All Together
This may seem like a lot to do, and I won’t lie to you, it is. However, the importance of protecting your organization and its assets from threats are worth it. It can be a lot of work up front but when policies and procedures are in place, along with a well-educated staff, security will seem effortless and you’ll be glad you took the steps. It’s also important to note that you are not on your own when implementing these three keys. There are plenty of organizations out there that can help. Compass IT Compliance has spent the past decade assisting organizations through the following solutions:
Contact us today to discuss your unique cybersecurity situation, and areas you’d like to improve upon in the upcoming year!