7 Ways To Evaluate The Cybersecurity Protection Of Your Business
If you are like most business leaders, you have a vague idea of the cybersecurity protections you have in place to keep your data and network safe. But if you don’t know the details, you aren’t alone.
At Kelser, we meet with countless business leaders who thought they had the proper safeguards in place only to suffer a devastating cyberattack.
But how do you know where to start when evaluating whether your current tools are enough or if you need enhancements?
In this article, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive set of questions that will help you determine the effectiveness of your cybersecurity solutions.
We’ll explore what you need to ask about your overall risks, your most likely threats, and your business culture.
We'll discuss the importance of deciding what level of protection your critical and noncritical assets need, how to evaluate your risk plan, questions to ask about the effectiveness of your current security measures, and how you will respond when an attack happens.
After reading this article, you’ll have a good handle on the questions you can ask to lead your organization through an evaluation of your current cybersecurity measures and identify areas for improvement.
7 Critical Questions To Ask Yourself About The Current Cybersecurity Protections of Your Business
We know you are likely not a cybersecurity expert and probably not an IT expert either; you don’t have to be. Here are the questions to ask to ensure that your business is on the best path for cybersecurity protection:
1. What Cybersecurity Risks Does Our Business Have?
Take an honest look at the risks your business faces.
- What damage could an insider do? Are your access permissions restricted?
- Can an unauthorized person access your network and data? Where are the holes? Can you plug them? What damage could be caused if holes are exploited?
- Does your industry have any inherent risk?
Related article: Which Cybersecurity Risks Could Affect Your Business?
2. What Are The Most Likely Threats?
Identify which threats are most likely to affect your business.
- Which threats are most relevant and why?
- How can you stay up to date on the latest threats? Do you have a reputable source for monitoring emerging threats and technology solutions?
3. Is Cybersecurity Embedded In Our Business Culture?
To determine the full answer, you’ll need to know:
- Who is responsible for cybersecurity?
- Is cyber security part of our business risk management process?
- How do employees stay engaged with the latest cyber security tips and threats?
- How do we stay on top of the best cybersecurity practices?
Related article: What Is Employee Security Awareness Training? Do I Need It?
4. Which Information Needs The Most Protection?
The most important thing here is defining your critical information and assets. Here are the questions you should ask:
- Have we defined our critical assets – those that are most important to our business those that could shut down our ability to do business if taken off line?
- How do we monitor and protect these critical systems, data or services?
- Do we have contractual or regulatory compliance requirements to meet? Have we met them?
Related article: Does NIST 800-171 Apply To My Business?
5. What Is Our Cybersecurity Risk Plan?
If you don’t have a cybersecurity risk plan, that can be a good first step. If you do have one, review it often and ask yourself the following:
- How do we know our existing risk prevention measures will be effective?
- Are there new, more effective tools we could implement?
- If there’s a new threat, how do we inform decision makers quickly?
Related article: Does My Business Need A Cybersecurity Plan? 4 Things You Must Do
6. Do We Have Appropriate Security Measures In Place?
Evaluate the tools you currently have in place. Consider these questions:
- Do we have cybersecurity controls to protect against the most common attacks?
- Do we need specialized tools to protect against business-specific or industry-related attacks?
- How can we limit the impact of threats that might penetrate our defenses?
- How do we keep our IT infrastructure up-to-date?
- Are there new threats that our existing prevention measures won’t flag?
- How do we stay on top of new threats?
- How do we learn about new technologies that could strengthen our cyber defenses?
Related article: Which Tools Can Reduce Cyber Risk For Your Business?
7. What If The Worst Happens?
The best defense is a strong offense. Being prepared is a lot easier and less expensive than recovering after the fact. Make sure you know the answers to the following questions:
- What’s our incident management plan? Do we have one? Has it been tested?
- How will we know an incident has taken place? Do we have monitoring solutions in place?
- Who leads and who has delegated authority in the event of an incident?
- Who has responsibility to contact regulatory authorities, company leadership and other key stakeholders?
- Do we back up our data regularly? Where are the backups stored? Do we have remote access to the backups? Are our backups easily accessible? Have we tested our ability to access them recently?
Related article: Data Backups Are Key To Disaster Recovery
What’s The Bottom Line?
In this article, we’ve talked about critical questions to ask yourself (and your IT support organization) about your cybersecurity protections.
We’ve discussed the importance of evaluating your risks, identifying the most likely threats, and determining whether cybersecurity is embedded in your business.
We’ve also explored the importance of assessing and protecting your most valuable data. We've explained the value of having a cybersecurity risk plan in place and evaluating it often, ensuring that your current security measures are effective and staying abreast of new threats and security tools.
You also know the value of being prepared for the worst-case scenario.
So, at this point, you understand the critical questions to ask when evaluating your cyber readiness. You may an internal staff that can help you answer these questions or you may need help from an external IT provider. Either way can work as long as you take appropriate action.
Want to keep security top of mind for all employees, external providers can supplement your internal staff by providing employee security awareness training, a cost-effective and underused tool for keeping cybersecurity top of mind for your entire team.
Kelser has been providing IT solutions for businesses of all sizes for more than 40 years. But we know our solutions aren’t the right fit for every organization. The best advice we can give you when considering external IT support is to evaluate several options to ensure that you get a provider that is the right fit for you.
We take this advice so seriously that we even post articles on our website detailing how we stack up against our competition (based on publicly available information on the internet).
We know this is a different approach, but we also know that savvy consumers always check the web to compare options before making an important purchase.
The truth is every business has strengths and weaknesses. Check out this article to see how we compare to our competitor IT Direct.
If you are just beginning to consider using external IT support, read this article to understand your options for external IT support and learn the 10 best questions to ask any IT provider.
Heard about managed IT support and wondering what it’s all about? Find out the pros and cons of managed IT support.
Or, if you are just starting out and want to talk to a human, click the button below and one of our IT solutions experts will reach out to learn about your business, your strategic goals, and your IT pain points.