Honesty is a vital part of today’s business landscape. Customers want to work with a business that offers them products and services that are at par with their expectations. Also, the modern-day consumer is inclined to work with a company with a healthy cybersecurity posture.
In fact, 79% of consumers will walk away from a brand if their personal data is used without their knowledge. As a result, focusing on building a secure business will offer you a competitive advantage in a world rife with data breaches and fraud cases. While the task might seem like a mountain, it is quite achievable when broken down into small processes.
Here is how to ensure that your business has a strong cyber-security posture from day one:
Educate Your Staff on Cyber-Security
While you might spend a fortune investing in security tools and systems, it will only take a single mistake from an employee to find your business in a PR nightmare. With risks such as social engineering always lurking behind the shadows, employee training can be vital to remain secure.
Build a strong security posture through training employees on cyber-security best practices. This will include training on password management, access control, and even using your security tools. Also, be sure to follow security forums and attend seminars to ensure that you can train your workforce on how to battle current security threats.
Focus On Access Control
An employee in the HR department might seldom require to access customer payment information. Additionally, vendors do not need access to your intellectual property unless the scope of their jobs requires it. Failure to control who has access to what can not only result in an insider attack but also improve the chances of losing sensitive data due to costly mistakes.
As long as you can implement strong role-based access control policies, you can reduce this risk. The policies should outline who has access to what, and the process to follow when looking to access data with outside your authorized scope of access. Ideally, working with a tool to enforce these policies is recommendable.
Embrace Compliance with Regulations
Being compliant to both internal and external security regulations is essential for business continuity. Companies that are compliant with external regulations are both attractive to security-conscious customers and can avoid hefty fines that come with non-compliance. Be sure to comply with the set guidelines.
Since regulations change regularly, it is wise to have a compliance officer in your team keeping track of these changes to implement them throughout your organization. This will also help you be ready for any impromptu security audits. However, compliance should never be confused with optimal security, and you need to build a healthy security posture beyond the regulatory requirements.
Champion the Best Practices for Password Management
It is counterproductive to use a series of tools to place a wall between your business and security threats, only for a hacker to access your company systems by guessing one of your employee’s passwords. Ideally, you should ensure that your business uses two-factor authentication throughout its operations to prevent the chances of a breach.
Next, all employees should realize that they have an essential role to play when it comes to password management. Other than using strong passwords, they should abstain from writing such passwords down or sharing them with anyone.
Update Your Software and Systems
Hackers are typically working overtime to bring down businesses. While you might think that your business is secure, you might only be a system vulnerability away from a security nightmare. Since most tech and software companies understand this, they are continually looking to improve the security of their devices and services.
Once they find a security loophole, they will patch it and send ad hoc updates. Failure to update your systems, software, and devices can quickly leave you vulnerable to an attack. Keep tabs on any recent updates by the vendors whose software or network devices you use to ensure that you don’t fall prey of any cyber-attack.
Conduct a Security Assessment for All Vendors
Working with vendors that have a strong security posture reduces the chances of exposing your business to security threats. For instance, collaborating with a cloud vendor that embraces strong encryption policies will limit the chances of your sensitive customer data falling in the wrong hands in case of an attack on the vendor’s systems. Since most of these vendors will have access to sensitive data for you to work with them, they must portray equal responsibility, if not more, towards protecting the data.
When vetting vendors, be sure to assess their commitment to security. It would be better to work with an expensive vendor who values security than a relatively cheaper one who with a lackluster approach to security.
Customers should feel at home doing business with your organization. The more they can trust your brand, the more you can grow as a business. Focus on building a strong security posture to gain a competitive advantage over other brands.