Which Cyber Security Process Is Right for Your Business?
Now is the time for your business to be proactive about cyber security.
According to recent statistics, global cyber crime will cost businesses more than $2 trillion annually by 2019. To help put that into perspective, the average cost of just one breach to a major organization is more than $4 million.
While your operation might be smaller than that of a major organization, the threat is just as real for your business. What’s more, nearly half of all data breaches are malicious ones.
So How Does a Business Protect Itself from Cyber Crime?
First off, you need to identify your business’s cyber security weak spots. You can do this by means of security audits, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing. While some people use these terms interchangeably, they are different. Each of the three procedures is performed differently, and each will benefit your organization in different ways. Let’s look at some of those ways now.
A security audit assesses the types and levels of cyber security risk a company currently faces. It does this by measuring certain aspects of the business’s cyber system against rules that are required by law as well as generally accepted levels of security.
Those generally accepted levels of cyber security vary according to the industry and type of business, as well as to the specific business. For example, companies that handle extremely sensitive data are likely to need heightened security.
Security audits often accompany an overall audit, although sometimes they are conducted in preparation for a more official audit.
Vulnerability assessments are reviews that look for weaknesses in a company’s data management system. These are either weaknesses that malicious individuals could take advantage of or those which could lead to human or technical errors. A vulnerability assessment looks at everything having to do with cyber security—from in-house computers, to networks and systems used by contractors, to mobile phones and tablets used by members of the team who work remotely.
Usually, if a vulnerability assessment encounters a weakness in the system, technicians pause the test and fix that vulnerability. They continue the assessment in this fashion until they have found and addressed all the weaknesses in the system.
A penetration test is not the same as a vulnerability test, although many people confuse the two. While both tests look for weak spots, experts believe that a penetration test is more effective than a vulnerability test. That’s because it enters a company’s cyber security system and attacks it, just as an actual malicious attacker would do.
It is likely that the number of actual risks is probably much lower than a vulnerability test would suggest. For this reason, penetration tests can cost less and be more effective than vulnerability tests.
Usually, a business will choose to run a penetration test to check for any remaining weak spots after they have tightened their security as much as possible. If a company has tightened their cyber security after an attack but then has been attacked again, they may choose to utilize penetration testing for large companies to find out more about how and why their system is still being attacked.
Protecting Your Business in the Future
Realistically, there will always be new methods available to help you protect your business. That’s because cyber protection has to continually change to keep up with cyber criminals’ ever-advancing techniques. In addition, the data and sensitive information that companies place online continues to grow at exponential rates.
To keep your company’s data and systems safe:
- Complete penetration testing, security audits, and vulnerability testing regularly.
- Get expert advice routinely. This is not something you should try to do yourself.
- Get staff on board and engaged in assisting your company in its war against cyber-crime. Your employees have a vital role to play in helping you protect your business.
- Prioritize cyber security. According to studies, more than 5 and a half million cyber offenses take place every year. Countless individuals are actively looking to commit cyber crime against your business all the time. Prioritize cyber security to avoid becoming more and more vulnerable to these criminals.
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Prioritize cyber security, keep your staff informed and trained, and call on cyber security experts regularly. Those experts will assist you with employing weakness detection methods such as penetration testing, security audits, and vulnerability assessments. Follow these steps to protect your business from sophisticated cyber attacks, both now and in the future.