Are you confident in your business’ IT risk management?
If you’re not familiar with the term IT risk management, the chances your business is protected from hackers are unfortunately low.
The repercussions of not taking precautions to prevent security breaches can feel devastating. After all, much of our lives are online these days. You and your entire family are at risk when one of your devices is not secure.
When it comes to your business, that’s a whole new level of scary. Proprietary data, confidential files, client information, financials, and your staff’s personal lives are up for grabs when hackers make their way into your system. Not to mention, the lost productivity and costs you will incur while cleaning up after a security breach could severely delay your business goals.
No need to worry! We have 6 steps to help you improve your company’s IT risk management today.
6 Steps To Improve IT Risk Management
The truth is with IT, you’ll never reach total security. Why? The hacker community has made careers stealing money through weak access points in unsuspecting victims’ computer systems. Unless you are willing to work around the clock to protect your business’ information (or hire a managed service provider that specializes in cyber security), then you are leaving a door open to those hackers.
While we all agree this is not fair, this is a challenge we want all of our clients prepared for. Especially with the wrench COVID-19 has thrown at all levels of business over the past year, we know not everyone can actually come back financially from a destructive security breach.
So how do you protect your company and improve IT risk management?
1. Mitigate Risk By Implementing Password Protocols
By utilizing risk management protocols, you can help your organization as a whole stay better protected. You can have all the deadbolts in the world, but your business is only as safe as your online security.
Passwords are a big deal in the IT world.
Not only should you change them often, but they should always be unique and strong. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. To begin, change the password to your wireless router. This is different from your WiFi password and is often overlooked. Hackers recognize this common weak point and will often attempt to gain access through the default username and password.
Additionally, consider who has access to your WiFi password. You should change passwords often anyways, but higher traffic may call for even more frequent changes. Create a temporary guest WiFi password when needed. These will only allow access for the timeframe that you decide.
Then, of course, each employee’s computer and online passwords must all be secured and changed often. Hackers do not pick and choose what access to take into your system. Instead, they use whatever access is available first.
2. Be Proactive When Something Seems Wrong
If something feels off, then figure out why.
Whether there is concrete proof, suspected fraud, or even a feeling that something may have occurred, be proactive.
Once you’ve cleaned up the mess of a security breach, you’ll wish you had focused more energy on preventing the breach. However, you can start investigating possible weak points in your system at the first sign of an early warning indicator. And you can save yourself a whole lot of time and money!
Whether you are sensing something is wrong or you want to be proactive in your online security, call Brooks IT Services to help you design and execute a security plan to keep your proprietary data out of harm’s way.
3. Track Known Weak Links In A Risk Register
Documenting known risks and exposures in a risk register is good practice in IT risk management.
When compiling your data into your risk register, think about all the risks that may exist. You should include historical data and anecdotes. Remember to update the register as new risks present themselves.
By tracking risks, you’ll be able to look for patterns, learn from past mistakes, and pinpoint the weak links in your system. Observing and identifying where things have gone wrong will ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Need help to track known weak links? We monitor and patch weak links in your system – ensuring your company’s information is safe. Schedule a discovery call with Bryan Brooks here to discover how BITS does this.
4. Consult Your Risk Matrix
With all of your risk data stored in your risk register, you can create your own risk matrix. While we `want you to be proactive about any type of suspected security risk, using a risk matrix can help you to gauge the severity of each situation.
Using a risk matrix allows you to assess and prioritize every known risk. By doing so, you can compare likelihood and severity. This way, you can get a good idea of the probability vs. impact.
5. Take Preventative Measures To Reduce Risk
Although it can take time, it is much easier and less time-consuming in the long run to prevent security breaches rather than deal with their aftermath. The potential profitability losses are higher than the cost of preventing the breach in the first place.
Preventive measures that you take today include the following:
- Install antivirus software
- Install anti-spyware and malware software
- Avoid unsecured networks
- Educate yourself and your staff about online risks
Does this seem overwhelming? Or do you just simply not have the time? Outsourcing IT solutions to Brooks IT Services is a sure-fire way to make sure your preventive measures are in place.
6. Avoid Complacency With Continued Education, Monitoring, And Reviewing
There are hackers all over the world. They are just waiting for an opportunity to wipe your bank account or leak client information. Hackers are motivated by more than money. Some do it for the sake of hacking – looking for notoriety in the hacker world and more.
As long as the unrelenting hacking community exists, so must your measures to protect yourself. To keep your network and business safe, it is important to monitor and review your status often.
You should train employees to understand and be able to identify risks.
Update your antivirus, anti-spyware, and malware software regularly to allow it to do its job as intended.
Moreover, be aware of possible exposures and any new trends of phishing/hacking attempts.
Feel Confident In Your Network Security With BITS
When it comes to network security, you’re not risking a friend making a funny post on your Facebook page. In fact, your business, trade secrets, financials, personal life, and the security of your employees are all at risk when your network is not secure.
Running a business takes all your time, but the loss in productivity due to a breach can be crippling. At Brooks IT Services, we understand that not everyone has the luxury of learning the ins and outs of everything IT-related – including IT security.
This is why we offer comprehensive IT services to keep your network functioning at its best, ensure you remain secure and keep you out of the hackers’ targets.
To ensure your IT risk management is top-notch and your network is efficiently thriving, contact Brooks IT Services today!