5 Questions to Evaluate Your Cyber Security Risk

The digital world has become a hacker’s personal paradise. If we paint a picture of today’s world, we see a society that is constantly connected by technology. Technology is seen in our homes, while commuting and at work. Our very connectivity gives hackers the optimal opportunity to find a hole and penetrate our cyber defenses. Are you protected?

A business needs to aggressively evaluate its cyber security risk to have an accurate assumption of its protection against hacking. Let’s take a deeper look at cyber analytics to support our case.

In the year 2016, businesses witnessed more than 4,000 ransomware attacks every day.

This was an eye opening 300% increase from the year 2015, where only 1,000 attacks were seen a day. Are businesses stepping up to the playing field ready to tackle these negative statistics? With over half of businesses not making effective changes in 2016, a staggering 52% are not, it’s clear that businesses don’t see the importance of evaluating their cyber security risk.

What you don’t know can hurt you. This hefty quote should sit on every IT professional and upper management’s desk, because it directly translates to why identifying holes in your cyber security is crucial to protecting your business assets. If you don’t know that a hole exists, the hacker will eventually find it.

The IT research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of Global 2000 companies will have been directly compromised by cyber criminals. These attacks are frequently taking advantage of the weakest links in your infrastructure. Once within your business’s infrastructure, they target valuable assets.

Let’s evaluate your cyber security risk by answering these important questions:

How progressive is your password management?

Your employee passwords are the first line of defense against threatening outsiders. Here, we’ll paint the picture of the traditional password story. It needs to be at least 12 characters long. It needs to include a perfect mix of numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters. Stay away from obvious words (i.e. your name). The less obvious story, your employee passwords don’t need to be changed regularly as you might think. The latest recommendation is 6 months to a year.

How interconnected are your devices?

Today, our phones are connected to our computer, and our home security systems are connected to our phone. The connections seem to be endless. It makes life a bit easier and more simatic; however, these connections can make you more vulnerable. If one device goes down, the rest could go down with the ship.

How educated are your employees on data security issues?

By actively engaging and educating your employees, you add one additional layer of security to your business. With issues of phishing, human error and configuration problems, all directly linked to employees, educating employees is a way to tackle cyber risk. Evaluate your risk by asking this question to see if your employees are update on the latest security measures. Additional warning signs of the lack of cyber hygiene translates to default passwords, open browsers and lack of common cyber security controls.

READ ALSO: 4 Ways to Prepare Employees for Phishing Campaigns.

How often are you assessing your systems and procedures?

It’s important to assess your vulnerability. By taking the time to do so, business can better understand their security vulnerabilities, poor patch management procedures and weak passwords. These can all lead to a cyber breach.

Is data security woven into your business strategy?

As mentioned, businesses need to actively assess their vulnerability. But these assessments and procedures need to be woven into the business strategy, and carried out at regular intervals. Usually these assessments are highly technical, costly and carried out for compliance purposes.

Have you evaluated your cyber security risk? Evaluate your business security risk with these 5 important questions. They will help you determine if you’re staying compliant with your own security risk vulnerability.

Megan Thudium

Megan Thudium

Megan Thudium is a Berlin-based writer with a passion for curating actionable and enlightening content for business leaders. A seasoned author, her latest works encompass topics in travel, business and information security. Follow Megan on twitter @megan_thudium.

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