How Prepared is Your Business for a Cyber Attack?
Is your business prepared for a cyber attack?
As of 2023, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has reported that:
39million cybercrime reports in the last 12 months
32% of businesses have recorded attacks in the last 12 months
The average annual cost of cyber crime is estimated at £15,300 per business.
Source UK Government
These indicate that cybersecurity attacks are ever more rampant and could cause heavy losses to businesses, big or small. Nonetheless, many such losses and full-scale breaches are avoidable if companies have the necessary protection, plans and strategies in place.
Yet, many organisations have yet to develop such plans. This blog provides a simple check that you can use to gauge your business’s preparedness for any cybersecurity breaches.
Six key considerations
The main issues to consider in gauging your organisation’s preparedness for any breach:
1. Are your stakeholders involved and informed?
To respond effectively to cybersecurity incidents, you need the support and involvement of almost every department, not just your IT team. That is because a comprehensive breach would likely affect the entire organisation.
But are they aware of the cyber risks to your business? Have they been provided any information or training to that effect? If not, it’s time to get everyone around the table and equipped to respond to such incidents.
Most importantly, your employees are the first line of defence in a cybersecurity incident. Awareness is essential. Regular employee cyber training enables the identification of suspicious incidents such as phishing emails and clever Man-in-the-Middle attacks looking to intercept communication and stealing those vital credentials.
2. Who has access to your systems?
Many security breaches stem from access control flaws. So, it matters who gains access and how often they can do so. Look at your password policies and authentication processes for any loopholes that attackers could exploit. Have you implemented multifactor authentication (MFA) processes for example? Or secure virtual desktops for remote users?
3. How often do you conduct drills and exercises?
When was the last time you conducted any cybersecurity drill? These are essential in keeping the team ready and ensuring a more coordinated and effective response when a real incident occurs. The exercises would also help in identifying and equipping stakeholders.
Helping people prioritise such exercises often helps to build the resilience to deal with incidents if they occur.
4. What tools are you using?
Your prevention and response strategy is only as good as the tools at your disposal. Ensuring your current cyber protection systems meet the modern-day cyber threats is key. These are not just Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools, but the systems in place to secure networks, servers (both cloud and physical) with provisions for data encryption, activity monitoring, email security, password management and Multifactor Authentication to name just a few.
Furthermore, you need to check that these are regularly updated to leave no room for attackers to breach.
5. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) systems
If your defences are breached, how can you recover? Ensuring that robust provision for business continuity and disaster recovery are in place, will protect the organisation and enable the business to get back to its feet if the breach cannot be fixed. Of course, these systems also need regular testing to ensure complete functionality – like most protection solutions, they are not set and forget!
6. Is there an Incident Response Plan in place?
A well-structured incident response plan guarantees swift and coordinated efforts in the event of an attack. This plan helps you identify the organisation’s most vulnerable areas, enables proactive decision-making and a team fully prepared with clarity in potentially disastrous situation. If no plan is in place, then the business impact will be that much greater.
Two common phrases spring to mind… Prevention is always better than cure and it’s better to prepare than not. If your organisation does not tick all these boxes, then now could be the best time to take action.
Do you need help with your Incident response?
Our “Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan” guide outlines a 10-step framework for preparing an effective plan. Download it here