How to Start Implementing a Cybersecurity Program

How to Start an Information Security Program

It is a major mistake to run a small or medium-sized business without any kind of cybersecurity program. But it’s not necessarily your fault, if that’s the situation you are in now.

Cybersecurity can be difficult to understand and due to time or budget constraints, it’s not always a top priority.

It is easy to believe that as a small or medium-size company you are too small to warrant the attention of cybercriminals. However, cybercriminals are now actively targeting this business market because they believe these businesses are easier targets due to their lack of security. They expect that you have little to no security measures in place.

This is why even a basic cybersecurity program will help you begin to reduce the risk of experiencing a business disruption or major disaster.

Security risks and their impact on your assets

If someone asked you what is every asset your company has, could you name them all? If they asked you to outline the risks that could affect each of your assets, could you? Does your company have any measures to mitigate or reduce the risks to your assets and operations?

While you may be able to answer some of the questions or partially answer them, having a complete picture of your company’s assets and the risks that would affect them is step one in your cybersecurity program.

The first question you may have is “how do I evaluate my assets?” For this, there are a few ways you can measure your assets. We recommend using cost. How much would it cost to replace an asset if you lost it suddenly? How would that loss financially impact and cost your company? You may also have to consider the cost of employees’ time or lost business.

If you have never conducted a risk assessment, you need to! It will allow you to see where you are covered and where you aren’t. Here some quick tips to get you started:

  • Determine what assets you need to secure, this is usually anything of value managed or owned by your organization.
  • Identify the threats and risks that would affect those assets or your business overall.
  • Identify what mitigation you should or already have in place to deal with threats and secure assets.
  • Monitor your assets to prevent or manage security breaches.

Security Awareness in your cybersecurity program

Keeping up with the latest security and technological developments can seem like its own full-time job. But a good step is developing an internal awareness program within your own company.

An awareness program is a key way of keeping you, and your employees, informed on best practices. When it comes to cybersecurity, you don’t have to make it overly complicated.

It can start with simple training for staff members on what they can do, or should be aware of in terms of security. Do they know what phishing emails look like? Are they reusing passwords for different accounts or choosing weak passwords? Can you require and train them on using a password manager?

Eventually, you can build on this. Update your employees on new changes, reminders on policies, standards, and best practices. Your security awareness plan can be a include a regularly scheduled meeting or one-on-one reviews to update existing security measures for your business.

Choosing simple topics that can be covered in a concise way will keep your team focused and not waste anyone’s time. Hold a weekly training session on relative topics such as email security best practices. You can include tips on spam, phishing attacks, and email security. After a period of time, you can then review if your employees have implemented any of these tips or follow up with further advice in an email.

Your cybersecurity program can start small. But it’s better to start with something. And right away.


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