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As technology evolves, so do the capabilities of those who sabotage systems. Cyber is a constant threat to any organisation but can be avoided with the right skills and knowledge in place. 

Good cyber posture is crucial to the smooth running of a business. As the posture of an organisation improves, the risk of a cyber-attack or threat decreases.  

Some organisations have a dedicated Cyber Security Manager, some outsource the service, and some have both, outsourcing in the first instance to reach a stable cyber posture, and ensuring this is maintained long term by a designated manager within the team.  

How ever you choose to manage your cyber security, here are some helpful tips to ensure you stay protected…

1. Update regularly

Anyone with a phone or a computer will know how inconvenient updates are; that slow progress bar preventing you from using the device for what feels like hours – it’s easier to hit the snooze button and bide yourself some time. In the same way, many companies are guilty of putting off updates to their systems – sometimes for as long as 10 years.  

Update descriptions are often worded as if the changes will be cosmetic – better usability, enhanced colour, better features for example, however, at the heart of every update is usually, security. 

It’s important to keep things current and respond to updates with urgency – you never know what they are trying to protect you against.  

2. Get the right support 

When it comes to cyber management, no two companies are the same. They might use the same systems, but the way they use them and the data they hold is likely to be entirely different. 

To fully assess the cyber position of a company and ensure the best cyber security, an individual (or company) must have a deep understanding of technology and data as well as cyber. Assessing a company’s cyber position should involve a thorough analysis of all of the systems and how the company manages them. A bespoke plan can then be drawn up.  

3. Look for certification 

If you’re outsourcing your cyber services, look to work with those who have specific cyber certifications like ISO 27001 and ISO 9001. A company with these credentials will understand better than most how to implement and maintain controls to protect your data.  These certifications are usually available on a company’s website.

4. Don’t take your eye off the ball 

Once your cyber posture has been reached, it’s important to put measures in place to ensure that future threats are avoided. If you’ve used a specialist company to get you to a position of stability, look at their options for run services so that your team can be supported in ensuring resilience is maintained.  

5. Be ready to adapt 

Technology is moving at a fast pace, and organisations must change with it. Just because your system has served you well for 10 years, doesn’t mean it will do so for the next 10. In order to protect your organisation, it’s often necessary to go with the advice of a cyber specialist and be open to change.   

6. Have a plan

If you are unfortunate enough to come under attack from cyber criminals, you need to ensure everyone springs into action in a methodical, organised way. The only way to achieve this, is to plan and rehearse. 

Who has what role? What is the first thing that is done? What is the second thing that is done? You might have a brilliant IT department and a cyber professional within it, but it’s important to make sure each person knows exactly what role they would take should an incident occur. It’s sensible to stage a mock attack and practise dealing with it, at least once every 12 months.  

7. Be proactive, not reactive 

Reacting quickly and efficiently to a data breach is great, but what if that threat didn’t exist in the first place? It pays to focus on preventing a threat from ever reaching the organisation, rather than letting it in and then dealing with it.  Learn more about why you should invest in Cyber Security Services.

Good cyber management to prevent attacks in the first place ensures an organisation operates efficiently; data breaches and other cyber-attacks slow down productivity.  

8. Cut down reliance on third parties 

You can control what’s in your own company, but you once you start working with other companies, security is diluted.  

Whether a contractor you’re sending a mailing list to, or a service provider with access to your internal systems, ensure thorough due diligence before working with any company.  

9. Don’t overreact to scaremongering 

A common mistake companies make is to pay close attention to huge threats with a low probability of occurring, and ignore the lower impact threats that are much more likely to happen.  

Whilst it can be unnerving to ignore warnings of huge losses of data, limited bandwidth means companies often need to focus in on which issues to prioritise.  

Warnings of big data losses are likely to spark an immediate response, but step back and consider how likely the threat is and whether there are higher probability threats that could do almost as much damage by impacting the organisation’s productivity.  

It’s usually the higher probability, smaller threats that end up being the most problematic in the long run. 

10. Ensure robust onboarding and training for employees 

Gartner predicts that by 2025, lack of talent or human failure will be responsible for over half of significant cyber incidents. Its survey found that 69% of employees have bypassed their organisation’s cybersecurity guidance in the last 12 months.  

Ensure your onboarding process covers cyber security and the importance of being vigilant. Conduct regular monitoring to ensure your cyber policies are being adhered to.  

Every company will encounter a cyber threat or attack at some point in its lifecycle, but acknowledging the uniqueness of your organisation and investing in cyber management tailored to your own systems and data, gives you the best chance of preventing and overcoming security issues.

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