As a business owner, it’s up to you to make sure that the information and data collected by your company are secure and protected against the many different types of cyber threats lurking within the dark web. Many people believe it is the responsibility of their IT company to handle this type of situation. While that may be true to an extent, they can only do so much. It is up to the company’s management team to understand what threats are out there and take proactive measures to prevent their clients’ information from falling into the wrong hands.
As a company, you are responsible for your client’s information. If they provide it to you, it’s up to you to make sure it remains secure. Enlisting an IT company to create a strong, security network is ideal. If you don’t take matters into your own hands and include a few measures of your own, however, your system will still have gaps. Multi-factor authentication, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems are just the beginning. Your clients depend on you to give them quality products and services, not internet liability risks. It’s up to you to be socially responsible when it comes to maintaining security protocols and protecting the sensitive information that you use during your business.
Hardening your own environment by implementing cybersecurity protocols over and above what your IT management offers is essential if you want to truly protect your client base. Owning your risk is more than just taking control of your internet security. It involves working with your IT company to create a multi-level security network. You can start by working within the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) framework which includes features that:
- Identify potential risks and issues
- Protect against cyber attacks
- Detect possible intruders
- Respond to possible breach or risks
- Recover after an attack
By using this framework and adding your own security measures, it will be more difficult outsiders to access your system and steal your client’s or company’s confidential information. The key is using the tools and resources provided by your IT company and then expanding your efforts to achieve a level of automated security that doesn’t rely solely on human interaction.
Companies that take the initiative and work to harden their cybersecurity often gain a competitive advantage over those who are lax and at a higher risk of cyber attack. Small to mid-size businesses can’t afford the danger of being breached. The fact is that once a small business experiences a breach, the majority of them end up going out of business after just a few months. As a business owner, if you want to maintain that competitive edge, you need to be proactive regarding cybersecurity. It means working hand in hand with your IT company on a regular basis to ensure you are doing everything possible to protect all of the data your company uses.
Perform cybersecurity audits. Beef up your firewalls. When it comes to internal data and information like financial reports and a client’s confidential information, use multi-factor authentication. This limits who has access to the data within the company, preventing those who don’t need the information from accidentally (or intentionally) tapping into it. Your IT company can help you find the right protection features so that there is little risk of any type of breach.
Regarding social responsibility, it’s up to you to ensure your company’s information is protected. If you aren’t socially responsible, then you’re overall liability dramatically increases and your business can find itself in jeopardy if a breach occurs. As a business owner or member of a management team, It is your responsibility to hire the right IT company and to also ensure that you are doing your part. It’s your responsibility to maintain accountability for your company’s assets. Separately, risks can tear your business apart. When you work with your IT company, you are better able to manage your company’s information and dramatically reduce your risk of a cyber attack.