ThrottleNet: Why Your Business Needs a Customized Cybersecurity Plan

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( — September 1, 2023) — Of the many tasks that go into running a business, few could prove more important for your long-term success and stability than implementing a customized cybersecurity plan. Unfortunately, this often gets overlooked among the many other tasks that business owners deal with day in and day out.

As Michael Heil, owner of ThrottleNet explains, failing to make cybersecurity the priority it needs to be can have significant harmful consequences for your business. Understanding why and how to implement a cybersecurity plan should never be put on the back burner.

The Very Real Cybersecurity Threats Facing Businesses

The statistics regarding cyber attacks on businesses quickly put the importance of a strong cybersecurity plan into perspective. It is estimated that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, and on average, a business has to spend $955,429 to restore its normal operations after a successful attack. Even more sobering, 60% of small businesses that are victims of a successful cyber attack are out of business just six months later.

“A successful cyber attack can quite literally mean the death of your business,” Heil says.

“Small business owners sometimes think they are too small to be an appealing target, but that often results in them being lax about their cybersecurity. This actually makes them a more appealing target, because hackers know their attacks are more likely to be successful. Hackers can steal customer information, proprietary company info, and employee data, or they could freeze your entire network for a ransom.”

Increased reliance on digital technology means that 75% of small businesses can’t operate if their systems are compromised by ransomware. And when data isn’t encrypted, it becomes all too easy for hackers to steal that information.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Recognizing the need for cybersecurity is an important first step — but for many businesses, actually implementing a cybersecurity plan can become its own challenge. “No two businesses are exactly alike,” Heil says.

“And this means that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will perfectly protect every business. Cybersecurity plans must account for a business’s specific needs and vulnerabilities, as well as their workflows, customer service needs, and operational processes. There’s actually such a thing as being too strict with your security measures — and this can backfire by causing end users to adopt higher-risk workarounds that compromise security.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that cybersecurity plans need to be customized according to the individual business. The number of employees your business has, as well as the varying levels of digital permissions they may require, will dramatically influence your cybersecurity plan on its own. Then there are factors like how you store customer information, and how customers engage with your business online.

“It’s true that there are some basic prevention tactics that every business can utilize, like training employees, securing your network, using antivirus software, and enabling multi-factor authentication,” Heil adds.

“But these are just the initial preventative steps. A true cybersecurity plan accounts for how you’ll continue to address your security needs, as well as how you will respond in the event of a successful attack. It should be as comprehensive as possible so you always know how to respond appropriately to any incident or issue.”

Assessing Your Business Needs

Developing a customized cybersecurity plan begins by conducting a business impact analysis and risk assessment. You document your processes and their underlying dependencies, assessing both their technical and non-technical needs. Then, identify potential threats to these processes, as well as the potential outcomes for your business if a successful cyber attack were to occur.

“When trying to understand what needs to be implemented, businesses should assign a custom value during their risk assessment based on how an attack on a particular process would affect the business as a whole,” Heil says.

“This is crucial for guiding where you make your cybersecurity investments, especially if you have a relatively limited budget, or if certain security options aren’t practical for your organization.”

After implementing cybersecurity controls, however, your business can’t be complacent. You must continually test your systems to ensure they provide sufficient protection and that there aren’t any gaps in your security framework. In addition, cyber threats are constantly evolving as new malware is developed. Continual monitoring and updating with a strong cybersecurity partner will help minimize potential risks to your business.

Finally, when assessing your business’s needs and implementing a cybersecurity plan, be sure to keep your employees fully involved. It is estimated that as many as 88% to 95% of data breaches are the result of employee mistakes.

Not only should you offer extensive training to employees to limit your risk, but you must also consider how your cybersecurity plan will impact their daily workflow. Making sure your plan doesn’t significantly disrupt their tasks and helping them understand its importance will ensure greater buy-in and compliance.

A Strong Plan for a Strong Future

“Your digital presence is so important in today’s business environment,” Heil concludes.

“The last thing any business can afford is having that presence compromised by a cyber attack. Regardless of how it impacts your operations, any kind of disruption can be costly. But by implementing a strong cybersecurity plan that consistently evolves to deal with new threats, you can have peace of mind in the digital age.”

You may not be able to control everything that happens with your business, but with a cybersecurity plan that is tailored to your specific needs, you can at least have greater control over that particular area of concern.