Cybersecurity has become the prime concern of the modern IT world.
Businesses of all sizes in every industry are under continuous threat of cyberattacks.
Cyberthreats aren't just a problem for large scale businesses; small businesses are the lucrative targets too.
The U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee revealed that 71% of cyber-attacks happened at businesses with less than 100 employees.
Small businesses are a prime target for cybercriminals as they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger enterprises.
Some of the Cybersecurity Stats Concerning Small Businesses are
• Small businesses are the target of 43% of the global cyberattacks
• Small businesses lose over USD 188,000 million on average per attack
• Around 25% of small and medium-sized businesses completely halted operations due to ransomware attacks in 2017
• Approximately 60% of small and medium businesses go out of business due to cyber-attack
• 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack
• Cyberattacks on small businesses grew at a daunting rate in 2018, up nearly 425% from the previous year
These facts escalate the need for a robust cybersecurity plan, strategy for small businesses.
In need of the hour, we bring you some best practices to develop a cybersecurity plan for your small business.
Two significant reasons make small businesses vulnerable to cyberthreats.
The first one is that small business entrepreneurs think that they won’t be the targets for cybercriminals. The second is that they fail to train their employees on cybersecurity.
This is where a cybersecurity plan comes in.
A cybersecurity plan contains information about the organization’s security policies, procedures, and countermeasures to ensure the integrity of operations and security.
It defines the current and the future state of your cybersecurity landscape, facilitating you the clarity on how best you can restructure your organization for the best cybersecurity practices.
A cybersecurity plan also enables the IT team to communicate effectively within the organization regarding the cybersecurity structure.
Here we bring you five steps to build an effective cybersecurity plan for your small business.
1. Identify Potential Risks
The first and the foremost step in building a cybersecurity plan is to identify the critical assets of your business that are worth protecting. Now, evaluate the potential risks that might compromise the security of your key assets.
Identifying and analyzing possible threats can help you develop strategies to bridge the gaps in security.
Some questions you need to answer to help you identify potential risks:
• Where and how is your sensitive data stored?
• Who has access to sensitive data?
2. Setting Achievable goals
Setting achievable goals is more critical to small businesses than overwhelming themselves with a long list of policies and procedures. While a cybersecurity plan will identify all the necessary activities, you need to prioritize those goals that will be truly achievable.
Start with easily achievable goals.
Focus first on the most essential and high-risk areas as they are a matter of priority.
3. Align Cybersecurity Goals with Business Goals
Ensure to build the security strategy in a way that aligns with the business objectives. Ensure that systems owners, data owners, budget holders and other key decision-makers think of cybersecurity as a practice that should be prevalent in all their plans.
A good cybersecurity plan will enable an organization to be secure in its continued growth toward its business objectives.
4. Documenting Cybersecurity Policies
Documenting cybersecurity standards, procedures, protocols, processes, and policies are crucial for every business.
By documenting these policies, you ensure that some of your most critical business processes are performed in a consistent way that meets the cybersecurity best practices and procedures.
Moreover, the detailed toolkit is especially crucial with regard to capturing, communicating and securing information.
5.Testing Your Plan
After developing the cybersecurity plan, you need to ensure that your plan works effectively. Waiting for a cyberattack to prove the credibility of your cybersecurity plan will be risky. So, test your plan on your own.
Try to hire a cybersecurity expert to perform a full assessment of your security to ensure that the plan is still relevant, up to date and effective. Assess your security at least twice in a year as the cyberthreats are evolving rapidly and your plan may go outdated within no time.
Developing and deploying a strong and effective cybersecurity business plan may need strong domain expertise owing to the complexity of the cybersecurity. So, partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) can help small businesses to get started on the right foot.