The CEO of a new start-up business might wonder if website security is really important and necessary enough to bother with, particularly if it is a relatively small business that is unlikely to make any great waves internationally.
However, all business, large and small, global and local, are at risk from hackers in and website security is something that all CEOs should be concerned with.
The first thing that needs to be done is to conduct a vulnerability assessment to determine the steps that need to be taken in order to protect your firm with better cyber-security.
HOW TO CONDUCT A VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT?
A vulnerability assessment of your company’s network security can make sure that the information you store and the business you conduct will remain solely between your customers and you, cutting down on the threat posed by data loss, malware and third party breach.
A vulnerability assessment identifies any vulnerability in your hardware, network and systems and then takes active steps toward remediating those vulnerabilities. Vulnerability assessment results can then be leveraged by your security and IT teams in order to make improvements to the company’s threat prevention and mitigation process.
Identifying and understanding business organisation and operation
The great majority of businesses are reliant on cooperation between their finance departments, legal teams and internet business unit representatives in order to work with their IT team in regard to their precise network requirements. Issues that need to be considered include the likes of:
- Customer or client privacy
- Business processes
- Competitive positioning in your industry
- Compliance with regulations
A vulnerability assessment will also locate the data and applications that are made use of during the process of business and identify any sensitive areas and the kind of information that could be at risk if there is a privacy breach.
There may be hidden sources of data that could allow secure information to be easily gotten access to, and these need to be looked for, particularly in the event that there is cloud-based access across a number of platforms, such as tablets and smartphones, to private information.
A vulnerability assessment can also identify the physical and virtual servers responsible for running necessary business operation applications that may be unprotected and allowing sensitive data to be accessed without your knowledge.
Do you have any existing security measures?
Even a start-up company may already have some existing network protection such as policies, virus protection, disaster recovery, encryption, firewalls and VPNs, so it is important to know what your existing security measures and capabilities are so that any vulnerability can be correctly addressed.
Your business network also needs to be scanned for any vulnerability, which will confirm the current state of the security of your network. In the event that you are able to identify an area that is vulnerable, or which may even already contain a virus, a network security strategy will need to be developed, possibly with MSP assistance.
STEPS FOR BETTER CYBER-SECURITY
Cyber-security can seem like a very complex field, but the good news is there are a number of surprisingly simple and efficient things that can be done to increase cyber-security at your company.
The most sensitive area of any business, and the one that is the most frequent target for attacks by cyber criminals, is employee accounts. This makes it of vital importance to ensure that staff members have been very well trained to prevent or overcome such attacks.
Your workers are your company’s human barrier against cyber attacks, and the simplest and most efficient method of boosting your security is to train them properly. Ensure that all workers are familiar with modern hacker techniques so that they know what to do, and what not to do.
Perform regular updates
Any internet connection is vulnerable, a fact that is always trying to be exploited by cyber criminals. Every application, connection and operating system should be kept up to date with enhancements and patches as the quick implementation of system security and software updates limits your company’s likely exposure to any vulnerability.
Cyber criminals often search for a number of default settings that may be vulnerable, including the likes of firewall, switch and router loopholes. By doing this they can overcome your company’s defences and gain access to your network, redirecting traffic and being able to intercept private data. Any external hardware that is over five years old should be replaced and checks made to see that all existing hardware is accurately configured.
The first line of defence against cyber attacks is strong passwords, but studies have shown that many people are reluctant to change their passwords, even if they have been using the same ones for years. It is therefore crucial to make an organisational rule that password updates are mandatory and to teach methods of coming up with a strong password.
Partner with an Application Security vendor
Work with them to have a plan to do periodic assessment of your application security posture. You should be doing automated on demand security assessment frequency (daily, weekly) and deeper manual penetration testing and business logic assessment as and when the application has a major update. Ensure there is a strong internal action item to address the reported issues on priority
In today’s environment it is a necessity to conduct regular vulnerability assessments and ensure that your networks and systems are not at risk of cyber-attacks.