Ways to Improve Your Cyber Risk Management Services
Updated: Jun 22
Nearly any business can be the victim of cybercrime, but the cybercriminals who profit from hacking systems, stealing data, and other illicit activities probe for vulnerable targets. If you have not proactively attempted to harden your cyberdefenses, you are probably susceptible to cyberattacks. Moreover, if you have not developed a risk management strategy with a professional IT security service, it may be only a matter of time before your company is targeted.
What Is Risk Management, and Why Do You Need It?
Risk management seeks to identify potential threats and mitigate the potential damage that can occur if those risks become a reality. With regard to cybersecurity, risk management is a comprehensive process where IT security experts examine an information system, bolster strengths, address weaknesses, and monitor the ongoing integrity of the system. A complete risk management plan will include processes for updating technology as well as contingency plans to protect your information against an adverse event.
5 Signs Your Cyber Security May Need Improvement
It’s a concerning reality that most small business owners are ignoring cybersecurity — potentially to their own detriment. In a 2021 poll, 56% of small business owners in the U.S. stated that they were not concerned about a hack on their business’s systems in the next year. Only 13% claimed to be very concerned about a potential attack. Cybercriminals rely on this complacency. In other words, by not seriously addressing their computer systems’ security, these business owners are inviting crime.
The following five indicators may help you identify whether your company is likely to be targeted by cybercriminals:
1. Your Business Collects Personal Data
Many small and medium business managers are under the mistaken assumption that they’re not vulnerable to attack because they don’t collect the volume of information that large businesses do. But the truth is that those smaller businesses collect the same kind of data as larger businesses but don’t have the same rigorous security protocols. This makes them an attractive target for cyberattacks. If your business collects personal data, you have an asset worth stealing.
2. You Conduct Electronic Transactions
In the 21st century, most businesses conduct payments via electronic transactions. Every time a transaction occurs, sensitive data is being transmitted and stored. This brand of data theft is so lucrative that the FBI has identified a type of cybercrime that specifically targets credit card payment information, known as e-skimming. E-skimming involves the introduction of malware into websites or third-party platforms to glean personal information. If you conduct financial transactions via your information system, you owe it to your clients and vendors to prevent e-skimming and similar crimes.
3. You Do Business With Third Parties
Third-party vendors can be an enormous security risk. Even if you have a solid security plan, your business partners may not. That means that they can unintentionally introduce malware into your system during transactions. If you conduct business with vendors, you need to have a risk management plan that routinely monitors your systems for security threats from those parties.
4. You Haven’t Upgraded Your Technology “in a Few Years”
In one well-publicized 2017 report, cybersecurity researchers discovered that 90% of businesses and organizations reported attacks against security flaws that had been discovered over three years prior. 60% of the attacks could have been prevented with patches that had been developed in the late 2000s. Software updates almost always contain security patches to address new attacks. By the same token, older hardware often needs to be upgraded to take advantage of the newest security advances.
5. You Have Employees With Access to Your System
Employees may be a necessity, but from a cybersecurity standpoint, each one represents an individual vulnerability. Nowhere is the phrase “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” is more true than in an organization with multiple employees. Implementing regular training and security protocols — deadlines for getting software updated, mandatory password changes, etc. — can go a long way towards curbing this vulnerability.
Key Factors to Consider During Risk Management Assessment
If you retain the services of an IT security firm, like Flagler Technologies, to review your data security services, they will be able to walk you through the steps for a thorough risk management assessment. These are some of the areas that a professional cybersecurity team will review:
Technology Risk Assessment – Determine which existing technologies may present a security threat.
Forensic Scan of Existing Platforms – In this stage, IT security experts will try to determine if malware already exists in the current platforms.
Review Existing Security Protocols – Cybersecurity experts will review processes to determine whether or not they’re accurate and to ensure compliance.
Disaster Recovery Planning – This phase focuses on contingency plans should your security protocols fail.
Examine Regulatory Risk – If your company is subject to government regulations, your IT security team should create a plan to bring you into compliance.
This is by no means a detailed checklist for a business risk management assessment. For more information, contact Flagler Technologies and schedule an initial consultation for risk management services for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cyber Risk Management
The following are common questions asked by the managers and owners of small and medium businesses. Contact Flagler Technologies for more specific information about the security threats your business faces.
What Is a Risk Management Plan, and How Should the Risk Management Process Be Monitored?
A risk management plan is a structured proposal for the security of all components of an IT system. It should include measures for preventing criminal attacks, monitoring protocols, and methods to enforce compliance. A designated individual or team of individuals should be responsible for the periodic monitoring of the system. Each team member should know their span of responsibility, and there should be redundancies and checks to ensure that no threat avoids detection.
Why Do Cybercriminals Want My Company’s Collected Data?
In most cases, the objective is financial gain. Data thieves can sell personal information on dark websites. The prices for this data are set by a black market, but for cybercriminals, the returns are mostly profit. In 2021, stolen data prices ranged from $14 for a Walmart account with a credit card attached to $340 for a PayPal transfers from stolen accounts for $1,000 to $3,000.
It’s important to recognize that nearly all companies are desirable targets for cybercriminals. By ignoring the imminent threats, you could be ensuring a successful attack against your system. Flagler Technologies offers managed security as a Managed Security Service Provider. Contact our cybersecurity experts to schedule an appointment.