11 November 2015

A beginner's guide to cyber security

Tags:Digital, Security, Innovation, Cloud, Government

The digital revolution has made it easier than ever for businesses to connect with customers and tap into markets around the world. But although this shift has opened doors to opportunities that companies could never have dreamed of a decade ago, it’s also created a new wave of security challenges.

According to the 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, a global report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, data breaches have jumped 23 per cent to $2 million over the last two years. For businesses, this means taking robust security measures – against both potential hackers and internal threats – is becoming a serious priority. Despite this, businesses often fail to put strong safeguards in place. Here, we’ve put together a three-step guide to cyber security.

Develop clear protocols for information security

The rapid proliferation of data means that confidential information is often under threat. That’s why ensuring that staff members and executives are accountable can prevent breaches down the track. To do this:

  • Introduce training sessions and initiatives that promote cyber literacy
  • Develop privacy guidelines and implement them across your business
  • Ensure that vendors and third-party providers don’t accidentally put data at risk.

Putting cyber security high on your business agenda can minimise prospective attacks.

Invest in risk management

Taking a robust approach to cyber security means understanding how to mitigate the impact in case a breach occurs. With this in mind:

  • Keep tabs on sensitive information exchanges across email and cloud services
  • Implement email encryption when appropriate
  • Consider software that can detect and respond to the early stages of a breach.

Failure to take cyber security seriously can impact your credibility as well as your bottom line.

Develop a response plan

It’s equally important to develop a strong response plan in the event that a breach occurs. From conducting a preliminary assessment and contacting your security provider to informing your customers, knowing how to respond to a cyber attack can cushion the fallout.

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