Baltimore businesses are no strangers to the growing threat of cyberattacks, scams, and online threats that target businesses of all shapes and sizes. One thing is for certain, it is crucial for individuals and businesses to prioritize cybersecurity in order to protect their sensitive information. But with so many different aspects to consider, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That's where the 5 C's of cybersecurity come in—a comprehensive approach to protecting your digital assets.
The first C of cybersecurity is about strengthening your network and making sure you aren’t making it easy for the bad guys. This refers to the measures taken to protect your systems and networks from cyberattacks. This includes firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems. It is important to regularly update and maintain these defenses to stay ahead of potential threats.
If nobody is actively monitoring your cybersecurity, it’s likely that it isn’t providing the level of protection that you need to fight modern threats. Having an antivirus solution and an array of security devices on your network isn’t really enough these days, because once they are outdated or in some cases, fall out of a licensed agreement, they stop protecting your business effectively.
In short, if a professional isn’t actively monitoring your cybersecurity, your defenses can fall out from under you pretty quickly.
In the event of a cyberattack, it is important to have a plan in place to ensure business continuity. This means having backups of important data and systems, as well as a plan for how to continue operations in the event of a disruption. This can help minimize the impact of an attack and ensure that your business can continue to function.
There’s really only one sure-fire method for ensuring that your business doesn’t lose data, and it requires two backups of your data.
- First Layer of Redundancy: Regardless of how your data is stored and what systems are in place, your data is backed up locally.
- Second Layer of Redundancy: The backup should be encrypted and incrementally stored offsite.
The first layer is designed to maintain a localized backup for simple problems—user error, versioning throughout the workday, and rapid restore times in the event of a hardware failure.
The second layer is designed for extreme cases—when infrastructure goes down, or when a disaster spreads across your entire network, like in the case of many types of malware and ransomware attacks.
Compliance refers to following industry regulations and standards for cybersecurity. This can include laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is important to stay up to date on these regulations and ensure that your systems and processes are in compliance to avoid potential legal consequences.
These days, business insurance firms are starting to ask their clients cybersecurity questions to help establish policies and rates (or to flat-out deny a business of insurance). While it’s beneficial to establish cybersecurity policies and make sure that your business is protected, there are no additional incentives.
Effective communication is key to maintaining a strong cybersecurity strategy. This includes communicating with employees about potential threats and how to handle them, as well as keeping open lines of communication with IT professionals and security experts. Everyone who plays a role within your organization, from employees to volunteers to contractors to vendors and partners, all need to be encouraged to report cybersecurity issues. There shouldn’t be shame in questioning the legitimacy of an email or reporting something that doesn’t seem right—it should be encouraged.
It is also important to have a plan in place for communicating with customers and stakeholders in the event of a cyberattack. Quickly responding to threats and being transparent about the severity will go a long way in maintaining trust. Your clients don’t want to hear that their financial information or personal information has been compromised by a third-party when it was from a breach you are dealing with.
Obviously, the severity of the issue will change how this communication works and what gets broadcast. It’s best to work with a cybersecurity expert like Dresner Group to help you navigate this in the case of a cyberattack (and of course let us try to prevent cyberattacks so you don’t suffer through one to begin with).
Creating a culture of cybersecurity within your organization is crucial for protecting your information. This means educating employees on best practices for cybersecurity, such as creating strong passwords and being cautious of suspicious emails. It also involves promoting a sense of responsibility and accountability for protecting sensitive information.
This assists with the other C’s above it—a culture of cybersecurity encourages strong communication internally, and it keeps employees mindful of the importance of protecting customer information. The biggest challenge most businesses face, however, is encouraging everyone to participate in the culture of cybersecurity. It’s usually more of a challenge to get senior staff and executives to alter their ways, utilize multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, and fall into line with network security policies. It’s becoming increasingly more important to do so, for everyone within an organization.
By implementing these 5 C's of cybersecurity, you can ensure comprehensive protection for your digital assets. It is important to regularly review and update your cybersecurity strategy to stay ahead of evolving threats. Remember, cybersecurity is not a one-time fix, but an ongoing process that requires constant attention and adaptation.
To get started with a cybersecurity audit, call Baltimore’s cybersecurity experts at (410) 531-6727.