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Cyber Risk Management: Avoiding Business Disruption as You Digitally Transform

What is cyber risk management? For too many budget-restricted small-to-midsize enterprises, cyber risk management means trying to protect the network and datacenter by establishing antivirus and firewall security safeguards against known attack vectors and across known parts of the network. But cyberattacks are getting more technologically advanced, and malware and social engineering ploys regularly slip past these basic perimeter defenses, regardless of an organization’s size or brand.

Industry surveys estimate that between 43% and 58% of cyber-attacks worldwide target small businesses. Cisco found that 53% of SMBs have reported a breach, while, according to the Better Business Bureau, about 36% of small businesses that reported being a target of a cyberattack ended up losing money.

The attacks often start by popping an end user – a digital mobile warrior or someone in a remote office – taking advantage of human error, under-inspected email links and attachments, or the Internet access points these employees use to consume or share data. These vulnerable network endpoints and access points can represent dark holes in your network visibility, i.e., blind spots outside your private network. Your network can then get infected without you even knowing about it, with industry breach detection medians and averages ranging between 70 and 200 days. The existing level of defense is just not enough anymore.

Are you able to protect computing devices that are communicating in public places where airwaves are shared, where login redirects are easy for hackers to host, and where open ports back into your network can jeopardize the sanctity of your network and data? Are you able to detect and stop the intrusion once it breaches your perimeter and attempts to spread laterally?

The use of digital computing, social networking and ‘app sharing’ for business agility brings a new and widening set of challenges and evolving types of cyber-attacks… attack vectors that are different than the ones we may have heard about last week. It’s difficult to keep up.

The malicious code itself is being recompiled and is getting better at penetrating networks and fooling static defenses and human judgment. Digital and wireless points of transaction left unattended or poorly protected against compromise allow your user’s credentials to be stolen and then used in attacks on your network, data, partners, finances, and the future of your enterprise. Don’t be the low-hanging fruit due to a static level of defense.

Continuously evolving advanced security is needed to protect you, your users, and data. However, keeping security strong traditionally involves costly rollouts and updates at the physical equipment level. Exacerbating the challenge is that there are other parts of the business that need the investment more and you just can’t afford additional cyber risk management practices. Or you’re uncertain what to do about the risk, business disruption, or potential (or yet-to-be-detected) damage to your organization. For example, as your business grows, you may not be sure what to do about regional privacy law violations if you discover that the data of your employees or customers has been hacked…

Advanced Cybersecurity and Risk Management

Cyber risk management is a discipline practiced by organizations to protect themselves from cybercrime and digital threats that can disrupt business. Cyber risk management typically consists of threat assessment, cyber protection tools, and security controls and guidance, with advanced security and cyber insurance often being the missing components. Only between 15% and 38% of small to midsize businesses have cyber insurance coverage. Seek out cyber insurance partners with programs designed to suit the needs of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs). Policies should be transparent about the details of coverage and be flexible and affordably priced to help SMBs to incorporate cyber insurance into their risk management programs.

Modern, holistic cyber risk management is hard. It can be difficult to manage and afford by yourself, which is why too many SMBs fall back on the most rudimentary cyber defenses. It doesn’t have to be that difficult or costly anymore.

Digital business transformation is about adopting new technological competitive advantages and efficiencies, and adapting process for opportunities and risks. This can be harnessed from the cloud, giving small and midsize enterprises a more level playing field on which to compete.

Make sure a hack doesn’t disrupt your business. Check out this turnkey cyber risk management solution that’s purpose-built for SMBs.

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