As your business grows or the way that you carry out your operations changes over time, your cybersecurity protocols must be sufficient to meet your practical needs. Be attentive to these important cybersecurity measures over the course of your development.
Adapt Formal Cybersecurity Plans
Having a written information security plan has become a hallmark of sound business management. In fact, some jurisdictions legally require businesses that collect and store customers’ personal information to have written plans in place. Formal policies on cybersecurity clarifies responsibilities. It lets people know what steps they must take to protect data and what to do in the event of a breach.
While you should definitely have a written plan in place, it is crucial that formal policies reflect your actual practices. Revisit your plan whenever you make substantive organizational changes or begin using new data management solutions. Noncompliance with internal security policies could create serious liability issues. Ideally, your information security policy should identify who on your team is responsible for updating and enforcing plans.
Evaluate and Moderate Access to Data
Increasing the number of users who access systemic settings, customer information, or financial records invariably leads to more vulnerabilities. A comprehensive user access review may be the best tool in your disposal to effectively mitigate risks. This precautionary measure prompts business managers to consider exactly who needs access to certain types of data or settings.
Tiering data permissions protects data and protects your staff from shouldering more individual responsibility for cybersecurity enforcement than they reasonably should. Restricting access dramatically reduces the likelihood that one person’s oversight or intentional wrongdoing can result in a catastrophic data breach.
Use Strong Password Protections
Every password that members of your workforce use to access a network, email, or any application that they use in their day-to-day job functions should be consistent with CISA’s guidance on creating strong passwords. Give your staff clear directives about setting up and changing passwords. Likewise, be sure to eliminate any uncertainty about how people may store passwords in browsers.
As a practical matter, people should never be in the habit of sharing passwords. In addition, using formulas to create passwords that feature commonly known or readily discoverable elements such as names and birthdates is inadvisable.
Many businesses have someone in their inhouse team serve as a designated password keeper to help managers stay organized and be ready to address problems that arise when personnel depart suddenly. If this is true of your organization, be conscientious about how team members are collecting and storing this information. This duty commonly falls to human resources personnel rather than IT or security personnel, so you have to consider the possibility that the team member or members who you have entrusted with this responsibility may not be aware of what’s at stake or might be uncertain about what they should be doing to safeguard passwords.
Simply integrating policies into handbooks or creating policies and having employees sign an acknowledgement about them might not be enough. You can’t expect everyone to follow policies unless you give those policies practical context. Boosting your workforce’s awareness about cyberthreats is a smart, simple way to get everyone on board with security directives.
Provide your workforce with structured training on specific policies as well general best practices. Training imparts meaningful guidance and conveys what you need people to know more effectively than simply handing them something to read. Training also gives workers a forum to ask questions and learn about how policies relate to their individual job roles in detail.
Include this type of training in onboarding for all of your new hires and also revisit cybersecurity matters in staff training sessions periodically. Your policies probably won’t stay static forever, and applicable laws and guidance may change over time. Furthermore, ongoing training initiatives might make people more vigilant about recognizing threats.
Ultimately, good managerial policies can reinforce and strengthen cybersecurity protocols’ efficacy. Keeping your guard up can keep your company’s data out of harm’s way.