Throughout January, we will explore four big ideas of cybersecurity hygiene for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to get the year started with security in mind. The first topic we will explore is Risk Management. In cybersecurity, risk management is all about understanding and protecting the people, software, and hardware that have access to your business data. Risk Management can be broken down into three easy steps: Assessment, Mitigation, and Monitoring.
- The first step of Risk Management is Inventory. To understand what issues may arise throughout the year, a small business owner must first understand what devices and people can access their business data. In smaller businesses, a list of hardware and software may be enough to understand the network. A database is more commonly used in larger businesses to inventory technology assets.
- Common issues found during the Inventory process are unsecure VPN connections, unknown Internet of Things (IoT) devices with access to the business network, or past customers who still have access to cloud data.
- Step two in Risk Assessment for SMBs is Mitigation. Once a small business owner understands the devices on their network, they can add proactive measures to mitigate future cybersecurity risks.
- The Mitigation stage is where SMBs should schedule software updates, employee security awareness training, and implement data segmentation. Breaches by cybercriminals often occur using end-user login credentials. If business data is segmented and users only have access to the data they need, it’s more difficult for criminals to move throughout the network.
- Step three in Risk Assessment is Monitoring. SMBs should understand current cybersecurity trends and topics to help employees stay updated on security practices. The inventory established in step one, software updates, and security awareness training should all be kept current on a schedule. After establishing a risk management framework, it must be maintained.
Cybersecurity risk management for SMBs is an ongoing process of Identifying, Mitigating, and Monitoring potential risks. A comprehensive risk assessment with an internal IT department or a quality Managed Service Provider (MSP) will give small business owners the confidence to weather the upcoming year’s cybersecurity landscape. Many SMBs use MSPs like Skynet Innovations to help keep their business safe from cybersecurity threats.