The importance of cyber security

 

Information is currency for most hackers. Important organisational data like financial records, employee information and transactional info, can be sold and the consequences potentially disastrous. This is why most organisations pay careful attention to their cyber security, often employing a third-party specialist to help with a security risk assessment.

 

What is a security risk assessment?

A security risk assessment is an on-going process of discovering, correcting and preventing security problems. It’s an important part of the risk management process and is designed to provide appropriate levels of security for all your IT systems.

 

A typical risk assessment involves identifying the various information assets that could be affected by a cyber-attack (such as hardware, systems, laptops, customer data, intellectual property, etc.). This is then followed by identifying the various risks that could affect those assets.

 

Working with your IT department

A risk estimation and evaluation is usually performed, followed by the selection of controls necessary to treat the identified risks. It is important to continually monitor and review the risk environment to detect any changes in the context of the organisation, and to maintain an overview of the complete risk management process.

 

Remember that your IT staff are the experts here. Collaborating with them will  to protect your IT network. To get started on the process, take the following into consideration.

 

What do you need to protect?

If you’re a law firm, client’s confidential information will need protection, while banks need to protect their customer’s financial and personal records. The first step in assessing an organisation’s cyber risk is to understand what company assets need protecting and why.

 

Identify threats to the information

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you store the information?
  • Who has access to the information?
  • How do you protect your data?
  • What steps are you taking to secure your computers, network, email and other tools?

 

Always be on alert that your data is not safe

In this case, you need to be a pessimist and predict the consequences of a cyber-attack. Chat to your IT staff and have them walk you through the above analysis. Ask them to quantify the risk. Also ask them to explain what could happen in the event of a successful cyber-attack against your company.

 

Cyber insurance

There’s been a rise of cyber-attacks on large corporations recently, and due to this, the insurance industry has introduced cyber insurance. It is a sub-category within the general insurance industry, offering products and services designed to protect businesses from internet-based risks.

 

Although it’s been around for nearly 10 years, awareness has recently increased in part because of the headline-grabbing breaches, often involving famous celebrities.

 

Governments have also been playing an active role in cyber-attack policies, implementing mandatory data breach notification laws. The risk to the Australian economy from computer intrusion and the spread of malicious code by organised crime has been assessed as high, which is why it’s a priority to protect your intellectual property and client information.

 

The Australian Cyber Security Strategy has been developed over 18 months of intense consultation with more than 190 organisations across business, government and academia in Australia and overseas. This is a national strategy with the government and the private sector working in partnership to set the strategic agenda for Australia and co-design initiatives within the strategy.

 

Contact Solutions I.T. today for a security risk assessment.

 

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