How to ensure cybersecurity as you scale your business
Growing your business can be very exciting; as you begin to have more success in your industry you can take on extra staff, increase your turnover, move to larger premises, and make more money. But business growth comes with extra challenges too – and it is essential that if you are going through a period of scaling up your business, that you pay attention to your cybersecurity measures.
The fact is that small and midsize businesses (SMEs) generally cannot survive a serious cyberattack – 60% of SMEs that are a victim of cybercrime fold within six months of it taking place. This means it is essential that you follow best cybersecurity practice and invest in the right areas to mitigate the risk of a cybercrime taking place, and if it does, to the limit the impact it has.
Here we take a look at how you can ensure your cybersecurity as you grow and scale your business.
Test your systems
It is important for you to understand the current capabilities of your cybersecurity measures, as well as whether there are any vulnerabilities across your systems. This is why it is vital to regularly test your business’ infrastructure – and this is especially true as your company goes through a period of growth that could alter the needs and requirements of your business security.
The first way to do this is through a vulnerability scan. This is a software-driven test that scans your system for known vulnerabilities – once you know of their existence you can take steps to deal with them. The second step in testing your system is through a penetration test. This is a human-led test which assesses computer systems, networks and applications to identify and address security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
A further step could be to run a red team operation. This is a simulated attack on your business carried out by cybersecurity specialists using the same techniques utilised by cyber criminals.
Scaling your defences
In the infancy of a business, cybersecurity might feel fairly insignificant. But as the company grows it takes on a more and more important role. It may have been the case in the past that if you installed antivirus software and a strict firewall, this would be enough to keep your organisation as secure as you needed – but bigger companies need better defences.
Cybercriminals are becoming ever more sophisticated, and that requires your business to ramp up the sophistication of its defences. It may be necessary to invest in powerful cybersecurity software such as security information and event management (SIEM) platforms, or even outsource capabilities to cybersecurity firms specialising in managed detection and response.
As your business grows larger, cybercriminals have more to gain from attacking you, and your organisation more to lose. This makes it extremely important to scale your defences at the same rate as you grow.
Overcome the cybersecurity skills gap
Another major challenge for growing business is the issue of the cybersecurity skills gap. This is the issue that there is currently more demand for IT professionals with cybersecurity expertise than there are people with the right levels of training and experience. This year alone, Europe is set to face a shortfall of 291,000 cybersecurity professionals with the problem forecast to get worse.
This is a major issue for growing businesses who may be looking to broaden their IT expertise and hire staff with cybersecurity knowledge. Thankfully there are many ways that your business can overcome the cybersecurity skills gap. The first is by outsourcing your needs to a professional cybersecurity firm. This can be an extremely valuable way to get the expertise you need at a cost-effective price.
Alternatively, you can upskill your existing IT team with external training or by regularly offering internal sessions that provide information about cybersecurity and how to deal with threats.
Vet your suppliers
Many businesses believe that they are safe if they are taking all of the correct precautions within their own systems. But sometimes it is not your infrastructure that you need to worry about. Cybercriminals are becoming more efficient at attacking companies through the supply chain – attacking companies that businesses work with in order to infiltrate their systems.
It is vital that businesses thoroughly vet all of their suppliers to ensure that they value data security.
Taking cybersecurity seriously is something that all modern businesses need to do. Suffering a cyberattack can not only impede your growth but could also have lasting consequences that make it difficult for your company to continue operating effectively. Don’t assume that you will never face a major cybersecurity issue – it can happen to any organisation with a website or an IT system, so put in the proper precautions.