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The Key to Data Protection: Cyber Security Strategies for Your Business

Although data is immaterial, it’s now one of the most valuable assets in the world. Just like how pirates try to plunder treasures and assets, hackers are also searching for the treasures of holding your data – whether that’s via selling it on the dark web, to extorting a payment for the data’s return.

In this blog, we answer some of the most common questions that we get about data protection, cyber security, and strategies for consolidating them in your business.

What is cyber security and why is it important for a business?

Cyber security involves protecting your business’s internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber-attacks. It’s important because it helps to keep your business running smoothly, protects your customers’ information, and saves you from potential losses due to data breaches.

It’s increasingly a requirement under regulatory bodies today, such as the SEC, as well as within legislative frameworks such as HIPPA. Ultimately, cyber security and data protection is about people, which is why cyber security is becoming a cornerstone of businesses and organizations today.

What should a cyber security policy include?

A good cyber security policy should include guidelines on how to handle and protect sensitive data, rules for using company devices and networks, and procedures for reporting security incidents. It should be clear, easy to follow, and regularly updated to adapt to new threats. It should also be fully aligned with regulatory requirements that you may have. For example, as a healthcare practice, your cyber security policy should be HIPPA-compliant.

How does cyber insurance help in my cyber security and data protection?

While many wish it were true, the truth is that no business is totally cyber-secure. Cyber insurance is a safety net, or lifeline, that mitigates the harm that a successful cyber-attack can cause your business. For example, cyber insurance helps cover the financial losses that can result from cyber incidents like data breaches, malware attacks, and other cyber threats, helping you to mitigate the harm and recover more quickly from the attack.

What are IT managed services and how do they contribute to data protection and cyber security?

IT managed services companies are businesses that offer full IT management services, which will typically include cyber security. Some managed service providers are more mature and specialized in cyber security than others.

Depending on where you are based, IT service and IT support providers in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg or Richmond can help you to secure your data and deploy robust cyber security measures across your business, giving peace of mind and undisrupted focus to you.

What are some examples of compliance requirements related to cyber security?

Different industries have specific compliance standards. For instance, businesses dealing with health information will likely need to follow HIPAA IT requirements, which set standards for protecting patient data. Another example is CMMC compliance, which applies to contractors working with the Department of Defense and involves safeguarding sensitive government information.

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What specific challenges do small and medium-sized businesses face in cyber security?

The fundamental challenge for SMB cyber security is two-fold. First, SMBs are the target of around 60% of cyber-attacks, and secondly, they have limited resources and expertise for implementing their own cyber security measures. If they are in a regulated industry like healthcare and financial services, they also need to link cyber security with compliance requirements.

A great starting point for them is to implement essential cyber security measures if they have not done so already. Another critical aspect is to consider working with a cyber-security first IT service provider who can offer the expertise and tools that they need to stay secure and compliant at a cost-effective price.

Why is it important to regularly update systems and train employees?

Your software and hardware need to be updated promptly because cyber threats are constantly testing them for vulnerabilities, which is often why they get updated in the first place! The longer they are left without the latest fixes and patches, the more likely they are to be exploited.

As for users, they are often the weakest link in any organization’s cyber security. A company may have an IT policy in place that enforces things like MFA and password practices, but without training their employees and aligning them with best practices and processes, they will risk compromising your business. More than half of cyber-attacks are connected to user error!

What should businesses expect in the future of cyber security?

Cyber security is a continuous process, but one thing is clear at the moment: it is the increasing use of AI in the light and dark sides of the cyber battle. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Richmond and Charlottesville, or Dubai and Singapore, AI is going to speed up the evolution of attack and defense mechanisms, meaning that businesses that do not use AI-powered cyber security tools and advanced human-enabled defenses such as a Security Operations Center, will be more likely to succumb to get outflanked by cyber threats in the not-so-distant future.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your business from cyber threats is an ongoing process that involves more than just installing a firewall or setting a strong password. It requires a comprehensive approach that includes developing a solid cyber security policy, investing in cyber insurance, utilizing IT managed services, and ensuring compliance with industry-specific requirements.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, taking proactive steps towards enhancing your cyber security can make a significant difference. Remember, in the realm of cyber security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Equip your business with the right strategies today to safeguard your data for tomorrow!