Information is a core asset to any business, and cyber-criminals know this. Your organisation needs to have a well thought out security strategy in place, to protect your most valuable assets.
The first step to take is to determine what the right security investment is for your business. The following three areas need to be taken into consideration:
Regulatory and Compliance Requirements
Depending on the products or services that your organisation offers, the type of data that you collect and process, and the countries you do business in, there are specific compliance requirements that your business must meet. For example, if you collect customer credit card details, you need to ensure you are PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. If you are collecting personal information from your customers, you need to comply with the Australian Privacy Act, or the privacy laws of any country your customers might be a citizen of. If you are collecting any health information from customers, the USA’s HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or the equivalent law from Australia or other countries you deal with, will come into play. The compliance requirements your organisation has will influence what investments you make into your security strategy.
Business Risk Exposure
You need to look into how much risk your company is exposed to and what the financial impact would be if you were hit by any type of breach. The types of data breaches you need to consider are: Ransomware, Phishing, Malware or any other cyber security attack. You can determine your cost per record, in the case of a data breach, by examining what kind of data you collect, process and store in your systems. Some data is obviously more valuable than others (e.g. credit card data or Social Security numbers) and would have a much higher cost associated with it if the data was compromised.
Business and Sales Drivers
How are you viewed by your customers when it comes to the security of their data? Your customers expect the highest level of security and you need to make sure they feel like they are receiving it. How are you protecting your customers from the outside world? Imagine that your business is a kingdom and you are the King of the Castle. You do whatever it takes to protect everything inside the castle. You put a moat around the castle (which is like a firewall in business terms) and in case of war, you can lift the draw bridge, so that no one can get in. From a company perspective, you have done everything to protect yourself. However, your customers who live outside the castle walls are also at risk of attack. What sort of security are you giving them? Do you sound an alarm and let them come inside the protected castle walls (your private sector) or do you provide them with some sort of protection on the outside?
The most important thing to remember is, whatever the risk to your customers, as long as they feel that you have their protection at the top of the list, they will stay with you and become loyal customers. Having a strong security strategy may even help to close that all-important deal.
Once you’ve determined the correct investment for your business, it’s time to outline your security strategy. Consider the following guidelines when developing your strategy:
Make sure all internal departments are aligned. Sales, IT, Marketing, etc. need to be part of the security strategy decisions. Each different silo has a different view on what the customer is worth and what your brand is worth, so it is vital that all departments are engaged to ensure that everyone will be on the same page when it comes to data security. Collaborating with all areas of your business, will mean that a more accurate ranking of risks can be developed.
It is also imperative that every department adheres to the security strategy when sending or receiving data. For instance, the methods the Marketing department want use to distribute or receive info related to an advertising campaign might be very insecure from an IT perspective.
It is important that you mitigate any business risk exposure by providing services that protect your end user, and give them confidence that you are protected. FraudWatch International can assist with mitigating risk. A multi-layered approach to security is essential, to ensure that, if one or two layers of security are compromised, your customer information remains protected. There needs to be a balance between security and business needs. Security measures should weave seamlessly into the day-to-day activities of your business without affecting the usability of systems or the productivity of your employees.
A phased approach is best when implementing your security strategy. Start with a small set of controls which address a business risk and then build on this gradually. Once you’ve laid the foundations, you can scale up the security controls. Make sure that you are aware of industry best practices and investigate those companies who have strong security strategies. Remember to start small: This is not a one-off deployment. Threats are constantly evolving and you need to be able to adapt.
FraudWatch International offers a range of services to help you protect your business data and your brand. Whether it is protecting your customers from financial losses due to phishing websites, combating identity and credential theft, or protecting your business from brand abuse, FraudWatch International has the products and services to keep your business running smoothly and give you the peace of mind that your most valuable business asset is secure.