As April 15th (also known as the dreaded tax day) just passed, many folks might be aware about their financial status. Maybe you owed a little more or a lot less than expected (for your personal taxes at least). If you’ve finished those taxes on time, take a deep sigh of relief—you’ve certainly met an important deadline!
But after taking a couple of deep breaths, I want you to think about another question—one that is certainly important for your business and where it’s going this year and beyond.
Are you investing wisely in keeping your team, your data and your clients safe?
What I want you to consider as you’re reading this is are you investing wisely in cybersecurity decisions.
Today, I will briefly talk about smart investing. Not in the stock market. Not in retirement funds. There are a lot of smart people that know those types of the investments like the back of their hands that could certainly guide you there.
What I want you to start thinking about is how your organization can become a smart investor in cybersecurity.
Can you remember the last thing you purchased to keep you team safe?
Maybe it was a firewall? Maybe you hired someone to help you with security? Maybe you got antivirus or even computer monitoring software to detect suspicious activity on your network?
After you signed on a dotted line, what happened?
You saw some money leave a bank account most likely and then a few weeks passed and then a few more. After a while, if you’re like many folks I talk to about their security, you might have forgot you even bought that software or service. You don’t get any updates and maybe, in retrospect you’re not sure where your money is going when it comes to that cost.
Note: maximizing your security investments start with hiring the right talent, investing and utilizing tools that can be integrated into your policies, practices and habits, harvesting data and spotting trends, and much more. One of the easiest first steps to making sure your organization is headed the direction you expect is to get a network security assessment.
How to get an effective cybersecurity program in 2019?
Simply buying and deploying technology is usually the first and final step most security gurus take when investing in technology.
The issue? While setting and forgetting does provide a layer of security beyond what you’d have without anything, maximizing your value and capitalizing on the efforts you’ve made to be more secure will probably require defined processes (along with skilled people) working behind the scenes.
ROI on cybersecurity?
Determining any return on investment on cybersecurity is a really tough question. When thinking about your return on cybersecurity, you will need to evaluate all of things that wouldn’t or didn’t happen as a result of good cybersecurity hygiene.
Less breadcrumbs to follow into your network—one of the big benefits from investing in sound security is NOT having to have or worry as acutely about cybersecurity incidents, breaches and attacks. You see, criminals are searching for networks that have very specific easy entries—through weaknesses in technology, process and people.
What we have learned is that your organization can leverage information from how your network works today to make sure it will keep you safe tomorrow.
And that is certainly true regardless of the solutions you choose:
Hiring the right talent—it’s extra critical today to have the right talent, a complement of both expertise in thinking like a criminal and protecting against attacks and cyber incidents. Skilled security experts should be able to run with solutions, but more importantly digest and explain in very high-level language how those solutions are maximizing your organization’s security and preventing on-going threats from becoming anything more.
Training the people you have—ensuring your entire team is well-trained and equipped to leverage tools you have in place to meet your security expectations. This often requires your team to hold some responsibilities over their prospective departments when it comes to making sure everyone is on board and understanding how to protect your organization’s data and network more thoroughly.
Combing through your data—many security experts recommend your security team know how to detect malicious activity before it becomes a major problem (work stoppage) for your entire organization. Being in the know and being able to nip security risks in the bud before they become full-blown attacks can be the difference between saving your organization and having to file bankruptcy post-attack. Does your team know your security data? Are they even looking at it?
It’s always better to be proactive than to sit back and wait for alarms to trigger. Which would you prefer, having a fire or preventing a fire?
Keeping tabs on the latest threats, getting constant intel and understanding signatures of the latest attacks and risks your organization may have could most certainly be the difference between having a secure network and one vulnerable to attack.
What if you can’t find the right talent or afford security?
Consider an outsourced solution.
If you can’t find the right talent, the easiest place to start is to consider contracting an IT Support team that actually handles IT security as well (Note: not all IT Support are equipped to do this!).
With today’s growing cybersecurity skill shortage (there simply are too many jobs and too few qualified people to fill them), finding your own team may become exceeding difficult—even in a big city like Philadelphia.
Whatever route you take, make sure to request metrics and reporting to see what you can get with your investment.
Not sure what to do next? Consider a network security assessment to come up with a game plan.