With cybercrime in Australia rising at around 13% per year, it’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ a business becomes a target for hackers. No matter what industry you’re in or how big your operation is, your data, systems and processes are constantly under threat from hackers, scammers and cyber miscreants of all kinds!
As a result, strong cybersecurity for your business needs to be a given rather than an afterthought. The costs of a data breach can reach staggering levels, with financial repercussions going on for years. Prevention, undoubtedly, is better than cure.
To the unfamiliar, cybersecurity can seem daunting – a huge and advanced topic with so many facets to consider. Smile IT are here to reduce the enigma and help you get your head around it, and one of the best places to start is with the five C’s of cybersecurity: Change, Compliance, Cost, Continuity, and Coverage.
These five pillars provide a structure which all companies can base their defence strategies around, while also making it easier to understand what an approach to keeping your business secure looks like. Let’s dive into them.
Technology and cybersecurity advance at one heck of a pace – so change in this instance means being able to adapt quickly. Existing threats evolve and new threats come to the fore on a daily basis, from malware to sophisticated phishing techniques. Your cybersecurity approach needs to expand and advance in order to keep up. It’s not a ‘set and forget’ solution, rather it requires proactive monitoring, identifying of vulnerabilities, and updating accordingly.
Your team needs to also needs to be on the ball when it comes to potential threats. Ongoing training is a must, keeping everyone up to date on the threat landscape. Flexibility, preparedness and the willingness to adapt are key components of this ‘C’.
As the costs and risks of cybercrime have grown over the years, so too has the levels of compliance and regulation around cybersecurity. These can differ depending on where you are in the world, so you want to be up to speed on the legislation you need to adhere to. This can often be complex, but the failure to do so could result in big fines and damage to your business reputation. For example, if you’re a big business in Australia and suffer repeated data breaches, the fine can be to the tune of $50 million. That’s a lot for a Chief Security Officer to deal with!
With that in mind, compliance needs to be the baseline for your cybersecurity. Your strategy should also be regularly reviewed and updated to align with any changes in the law.
The cost of cybersecurity is always going to be one of the biggest concerns for businesses. It will obviously vary depending on the size of your organisation, but it’s important to look at it as an investment rather than a drain on your resources. The cost of a data breach is always going to set you back far more than the costs of ensuring your defences are strong.
Regular audits, employee training and a robust cyber infrastructure are all costs to bear in mind. Cybersecurity experts like Smile IT will be able to advise the perfect balance between costs and protection for your business.
No matter how robust your cyber defences are, a breach can still happen. You have to be prepared for it in a way that comprehensively mitigates any damage and fallout. Your approach to continuity will determine how quickly your business can get back on its feet and fully operational after an attack.
An incident response plan should focus on rapid detection of incidents, quick response and recovery, and minimal disruption to services. Key assets need to be identified, data needs to be backed up and training needs to be provided so team members know exactly what they need to do. The plan needs to be tested in a real-world scenario and reviewed regularly.
All bases need to be covered by your cybersecurity strategy. Internally, this involves everyone from director level down to entry level employees, as well as including the physical premises and the digital assets. It’s important that you grow and evolve a culture of security, so staying safe becomes second nature to members of your organisation.
External coverage is also important. Vendors, suppliers and partners should meet high cybersecurity standards, while understanding and adapting to your own stringent standards. Any weak links could be an easy way in for cybercriminals!
Contact the Cybersecurity Experts
The five C’s are important to developing a well-rounded cybersecurity strategy. Let them be the guiding principles to a proactive approach that keeps you better protected and reduces your chances of becoming another cybersecurity statistic. If you want more information about how to go about this, get in touch with one of the experts at Smile IT. We take keeping your business safe seriously and would love to chat about how we can help do exactly that.
When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!