In today’s high-tech business environment, it is nearly impossible to keep your company 100% safe from cyber threats. For every attack that is stopped a handful more arise in its place. With over 43% of all cyber-attacks targeting small business, a robust cyber security plan has become a mandatory component of your business operations. But what is a cyber security plan and how can you create one? All that and more, coming right up.
What is a Cyber Security Plan?
A cyber security plan is a set of policies created to protect your business, employees, and customers from the cyber threats you’ll face daily. It outlines your existing IT environment and creates protocols for the safe use of devices within that environment. Complete cyber security plans also typically include threat remediation and response plans that are implemented when an attack occurs. These plans can significantly reduce response time and downtime. Allowing your business to recover more quickly and get back to business as usual.
How Do I Create a Cyber Security Plan?
If this all sounds overly complicated, take a deep breath. Cyber security plans aren’t as difficult to create as it may seem. The best plans focus on a few key areas.
- Evaluate Your Current IT Infrastructure
- Identify Methods of Protection
- Create Best Practices for Security
- Outline Recovery Procedures
Evaluate Your Current IT Infrastructure
The first step of any solid IT plan is to look at your existing IT infrastructure and identify any potential areas of weakness. Do you have 20 employees now working from home? Perhaps you have a set of rarely used computers without virus protection. Or maybe you are storing customer information in a database. Regardless of your practices, it is critical that you evaluate every piece of your infrastructure. This ultimately lets you know what needs to be secured and highlights areas where you might face attacks.
Methods of Protection
Once you have a complete understanding of your IT assets you can begin to evaluate how you will protect those assets. Firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware software, data encryption, network monitoring, backups, spam protection, and content filtering are just a few of the popular methods you may wish to consider. Decide what methods you will use and create a plan to implement them network-wide.
Security Best Practices
A cyber security plan is pointless without, well, security. Whether you have sensitive data to protect or not, you need to create a list of security best practices. This is essentially a list of rules that defines what is and isn’t allowed within your network. Perhaps you don’t allow employees to bring their phones to work. Or maybe you block certain websites from use. These best practices help you identify potential security issues and help your employees understand what is expected of them to keep your business operating securely. At the end of the day, these practices allow everyone to work together as a team in a safe environment.
Outline Recovery Procedures
Okay. You have created a plan and taken every possible precaution. But then it happens. Your network is attacked. What do you do? Hopefully, your cyber security plan included a list of recovery procedures. These procedures are a black and white list of what needs to be done to get your business back online. Perhaps it is as simple as contacting your IT service provider. Maybe it’s a step by step process from identifying the threat to remediation. Whatever the procedure you want to make sure it is straightforward and easy to follow. The entire purpose is to remove confusion and create a clear path to a solution during a difficult time.
The Next Steps
There you have it! Once you have worked through those 4 key areas you will have the workings of a basic cyber security plan. Even though our businesses will continue to be tested and attacked you are now better prepared to handle them. If you were unable to get through the areas outlined or you still have questions about creating a plan, please contact us. We would love to discuss how we can utilize our various IT security solutions to create a safe working environment for your business.